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Professor R. F. Treharne 

All rights reserved 

The Story of MOSCOW 

by Wirt Gerrare Illus- 
trated by Helen M. James 

London: ,/, M, Dent $ Co. 
Aldine House, 29 and 30 Bedford Street 
Covert Garden, W.C. ? * 1900 



D EADERS of the modern histories of Russia may 
wonder by what right Moscow is included among 
MEDIAEVAL TOWNS, for it is the fashion of recent writers to 
ignore the history of the mighty Euro- Asian empire 
prior to the eighteenth century and the reign of Peter 
the Great. It is at that period this story of the old 
Muscovite capital ends. To many, then, this account 
of the town and its vicissitudes during the preceding 
five centuries may have the charm of novelty ; per- 
chance to others, who have wrongly concluded that the 
old buildings were all destroyed during Napoleon's 
invasion, the few typical antiquities chosen for illustra- 
tion out of many like, will attract to a closer acquaintance 
with memorials of a past that was but little influenced 
by the art of the west. 

Moscow, where the east merges with the west but 
remains distinct and unconquered, has a fascination all 
its own ; the town not only has been great, but is so yet ; 
its influence pervades the Russian empire and is still 
mutable and active ; its story therefore comprises more 
than the legends and associations of an ordinary city, 
but, if confined merely to an enumeration of the facts 
and traditions of the past will not be void of interest, 
and however fully given, must fall far short of what the 
imaginative reader may reasonably expect. Of the 



meagre character of this present account I am fully 
aware ; of its positive errors I am, at present, unhappily 
ignorant, but I trust that those who discover mistakes 
will not only forgive, but notify me of them, that later 
readers may be as grateful for the favour as I myself 
shall be. Of place names I have given the idiomatic, 
instead of the usual literal translation ; where I have 
attempted an equivalent reproduction of the original the 
transliteration will be comprehensible to those who know 
nothing of either French or German. That I may not 
be charged with inconsistency in this, I may explain that 
where a foreign spelling as rouble has become familiar 
I have used the Anglicism. To most readers the names 
will, I fear, be unpronounceable however spelled ; but 
only the expert will regret that I have not given the 
original Russian. To them the excuse I offer is, that 
to everyone ignorant of the tongue Russian names are 
absolutely undecipherable, being apparently composed 
of an alphabet in spasms made up into words of poly- 
syllabic length. 

It is difficult for one not of the Eastern Church to 
write justly of Russian Ecclesiasticism ; an alien, how- 
ever carefully he may observe, is liable to obtain faulty 
impressions and make erroneous deductions ; so to me 
any criticism seems an impertinence. I have tried to 
present its artistic phases fairly, but am conscious that 
the ninth chapter is the least satisfactory of all that I 
have written. 

For the rest, my task has been easy : I have had but 
to examine, compare, and judge the work of others and 
from their stored treasures make my selection. I have 


produced little that is really original : others have delved 
amid ruins for vestiges of the earlier Moscow ; have 
unearthed ancient monuments; transcribed illegible 
manuscripts ; ransacked archives, measured walls, calcu- 
lated heights, weighed bells and counted steps ; formed 
theories and found evidence to support them ; so have 
rendered my labour light and pleasant. I regret that 
I, who at best am but an intelligible interpreter, cannot 
acknowledge more particularly the hundred and more 
authorities from whom I have drawn ; in the same 
inadequate, general fashion I must thank many friends, 
English and Russian, for the kindly interest they have 
taken in the work and the intelligent assistance they 
have rendered me in its compilation. For direction to 
valuable sources of information, and other services, I 
am conscious of particular indebtedness to the Rev. F. 
Wyberg, of the English Church, Moscow, and to Mr V. 
E. Marsden, the correspondent of the Standard there 
either of whom might have written a much better 
book about the town they know so well. The object 
of this volume I shall consider to be achieved if its 
perusal gives to anyone pleasure equal to that its compila- 
tion has brought me ; or awakens even a few readers 
to a greater interest in Moscow, and a better under- 
standing of the Russian people. 



Tbi, KaKi, MyneaeKT,, ropkia, 

H ptKa BT> Teo-fc 

EypHOiLiaMeHHafl ! 
H no/ji. nen-ioMi, Tbi 


H H3i> nen^a TBI Boaciaja, 

ii ',!.(' <-.m itoii li'li-i noii, 
Fopo^i. xpaMOBT> H najarb ! 
Fpajb cpeAHHHbiH, rpa#b 
KopeHHOii Pocciii rpa^T. ! 


White-<walled and golden-headed. 

Beautiful, bizarre, 
The pride of all the millions 

Ruled by the Russian Tsar : 
The cradle of an Empire, 

Shrine of a great race, 
With Europe's noblest cities 

Moscow halo's its place! 

V. E. M. 




Introduction P re- Muscovite Russia I 

Origin and Early History . . . . I I 

Moscow under the Mongols . . . . 21 


Moscow of the Princes . . . . . 37 

Ivan the Terrible ..... 47 

The Troublous Times ...'.. 80 


Moscow of the Tsars . . . . 1 1 i 





The Kremlin . . . . . .147 


Moscow of the Ecclesiastics . . . . 172 


Moscow of the Citizens . . . .206 


Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals . . 227 

The Convents and Monasteries . . . 253 


Moscow of the English . . . . 270 

The French Invasion and after . . . 284 


Itinerary and Miscellaneous Information . . 303 

Index 309 



The Virgin of Vladimir ( Vladimirski Bogei- 

mater'i} by St Luke . . . Frontispiece 

The Kremlin . . . . . . 13 

Danilovski Monastery . . . . . 17 

Spass na Boru ...... 29 

Ilyinka Gate of the Kitai Gorod . -39 

Doorivay of St Lazarus . . . . 45 

Alarm Bell To<wer . . . . - 5^ 

Vasih Blajenni . . . . . 67 

The Terem A Corridor . . . . 83 

Church of the Assumption . . . . 89 

Dom Romanovykh . . . . .108 

Belvedere of the Terem . . . . .117 

Krutitski Vorot . . . . . .122 

Krasnce Kriltso . . . . . .126 

Throne Room of the Terem . . . . 135 

Vosskresensii Vorot and Iberian Chapel . . 143 
Kremlin Wall and Tower . . . .148 

Terem and Belvedere of the Potieshni Dvorets . 154 
Church of Our Saviour behind the Golden Gates 1 6 1 
Potieshni Dvorets, or Pleasure Palace . . 167 



Church of the Nativity (Rojdestva V-Putinkakh] 1 8 1 
Uspenski Sobor The Ikonostas . . . 1 86 
Cathedral of the Annunciation ( Blagovieshchenski 

Sobor) . . . . . .193 

Church and Gate of Mary of Vladimir . . 204 

Srietenka The Sukharev Bashnia . . . 208 

St Nicholas Stylite " 218 

Dom Chukina . . . . . .223 

Krestovia in the Romanof House . . . 229 

Varvarka Vorot of the Kitai Gorod . . 238 
A Chastok (Watch Tower) . . . .245 

Petro-vski Monastery . . . . .250 

Simorwv Monastery . . . . .261 

Novo Devichi Convent . . . . . 267 

Spas ski f^orot, Toiver over the Redeemer Gate . 279 
Borovitski Gate and St Saviour's Cathedral . 299 
Plan of the Kremlin .... face 125 

Map of Moscow 308 


Introduction P re-Muscovite R ussia 

" Cimmerii a Scythis nomadibus ejecti." HERODOTUS. 

'"THE mediaeval pilgrim to Moscow, getting his first 
glimpse of the Holy City from Salutation Hill, 
saw before him much the same sight as the tourist of 
to-day may look upon from the same spot. Three 
miles away a hill crowned with white-walled buildings, 
many towers, gilded domes and spires topped with 
Cross-and-Crescent ; outside the wall that encircles 
this hill, groups of buildings, large and small ; open 
fields, trees singly, in rows, clumps and thickets 
separate group from group ; ever and anon above the 
many hued roofs reach belfries, spires, steeples, domes 
and minarets innumerable. Beyond, to right and left, 
the scene repeats itself until the bright coloured build- 
ings become indistinguishable from the masses of 
verdure and all merge in the haze of the plains east 
and west, or the faint outline of forest to the north. 

Long ago the tremendous extent of this town, 
apparently without limit, amazed strangers no less than 
the richness and multitude of its buildings filled pilgrims 
with awe and reverence. To the tourist to-day it is 
as a vision of magnificent splendour and brilliance, for 

The Story of Moscow 

seen in the clear sunlight of a summer day Moscow has 
beauty and brightness no other city possesses. Long 
lines of ivory whiteness capped with vivid green or 
flushed with carmine and ruby ; great globes of deepest 
blue, patches of purple and dashes of aquamarine ; many 
gleaming domes of gold, glowing halos of burnished 
copper, dazzling points of glistening silver such make 
Moscow at sunset like part of a rainbow streaked with 
lightning and thickly bedizened with great gems. 

Intense colours, sharp contrasts characterise Moscow. 
The extravagances of design and colouring, unconceal- 
able even in the general prospect, are obvious on closer 
inspection. The stranger arriving by railway gets no 
bird's-eye view of the town ; but on his way from the 
station in the suburbs towards the central town sees 
the painted roofs, coloured walls, pretentious pillars, 
cupolas with golden stars, strange towers, fantastic gates, 
immense buildings, tiny cottages, magnificent spaces, 
narrow winding streets; irregularities and incongruities 
so many that Moscow first, and most lastingly, im- 
presses by its bizarrerle. 

With fuller acquaintance the diversity of style appears 
in keeping with the spirit of the place, and seeming in- 
congruities are softened, or redeemed, by originality of 
design or execution. The buildings of Moscow are 
multiform, but there is dissimilarity rather than con- 
trariety ; the usual elsewhere is the unconventional 
here, and conformity is attained by each being unlike 
all others. An early traveller wrote : " One might 
imagine all the states of Europe and Asia had sent a 
building by way of representation to Moscow," and in 
a certain sense this is still true. But it would be in- 
correct to assume, therefore, that cosmopolitanism is a 
dominant trait. The very reverse is the fact. Moscow 
is essentially Russian, and though there is abundant 
evidence of borrowing from Greece, Italy and Byz- 



antium ; from Moor, Goth and Mongol ; of appropria- 
tion of classic, mediaeval and renaissance methods, the 
prevalent style seems to be not exactly the combination 
of any so much as the outcome of all. Not that indi- 
genous forms are wanting, but their elemental quality is 
obscured by the wondrous versatility and adaptability of 
the artists. The result is as confusing as though an 
author in writing out his original ideas made constant 
random use of different alphabets in each word. 

This method, so characteristic of Russia, is per- 
plexing rather than intricate, but he would be very 
learned or foolhardy who, acting on the rule that 
to see the house is to know the inmates, if shown 
Moscow should at once predicate the character of its 

Yet more than most towns Moscow reflects the life 
history of its people ; whatever there is of beauty, of 
strength, of individuality, is the result of human intelli- 
gence, experience and effort. No town of like im- 
portance owes so little to nature, so much to man. 
And the dominant tone is religious ; religious feeling 
has inspired the noblest efforts, ecclesiastical influence 
has conserved such oneness of purpose as Moscow 
manifests. Withal there is strong individualism, both 
clerical and secular. 

Paradoxical as Moscow is, it is in the highest degree 
interesting. If no one object can be pointed to as 
typical of race or period, no public work shown as the 
result of persistent policy or genius of peculiar citizen- 
ship, Moscow in its entirety demonstrates the develop- 
ment of a people. Even the opposing principles of 
diffusion and cohesion, and the parts they have served 
in the history of this race, are so unmistakably ex- 
pressed that the sight-seer, even, feels that in Moscow, 
most surely, must be found the key not only to the 
history of Russia, but also to the character of men 

'The Story of Moscow 

who have conquered and hold the largest part of two 

Moscow, the town that has cradled and nursed a 
mighty nation, does not lack story ; but its story com- 
prises much of the early history of the empire subse- 
quently evolved, and consequently much that may be 
considered foreign to the city itself must be stated if 
the tale is to be complete, or even comprehensible by 
those to whom the ancient history of Russia is un- 

To begin at the beginning. European Russia is an 
immense plain, its centre elevated scarcely three 
hundred feet above sea-level ; the hills, few, low and 
unimportant. Lakes are plentiful, and great rivers 
with many ramifications flow slowly by tortuous 
channels mostly towards the north-west or the south- 
east. Large tracts of forest and marsh in the centre 
terminate with frozen wastes to the north, and merge 
with rough, sandy pastures on the south. 

At various periods, Europe has been invaded and 
peopled by different races from the east, and the last 
of these migrants, the Slavs, for the most part took 
the direction of the great water-ways of Russia, that 
is, from the south-east towards the north-west. In 
addition to their nomadic habit, various causes, amongst 
which must be counted internecine warfare, led to the 
dispersion of the Slavs, whilst effective occupation by 
earlier migrants and the determined resistance of ab- 
original races checked their progress in some directions. 
The Scythian branch of the Slav race settled on the 
Don about 400 B.C. but was gradually driven from the 
shores of the Black Sea by the Greek colonists of 
Miletus. These colonies were taken by the Romans 

Pre-Muscovite Russia 

later, and about 300 A.D. the Slavs again asserted their 
dominion there for a period. Other branches of the 
Slav race and wilder races from Asia pressed westward, 
laying the country waste. Huns, Turks, Goths, 
Bolgars, Magyars, Polovtsi, Pechenegians and others, 
at different times, drove Slavs of pastoral habit aside 
from their path. In the fifth century Slavs established 
themselves on the Dnieper at Kief and at Novgorod 
on the Ilmen, where they progressed and became 
civilised. In the seventh century they were once 
more on the shores of the Black Sea in the south, and 
in the north Novgorod was a thriving commercial 

The Slav republics suffered at the hands of Asiatics 
on the south, and from the depredations of vikings on 
the north ; moreover there were internal dissensions. 
In A.D. 864, Rurik, a Varoeger prince the same 
who, it is believed, laid waste the maritime provinces 
of France in 850 and in 851 entered the Thames 
with 300 sail and pillaged Canterbury made himself 
master of the northern republic, took up his residence 
at Novgorod and founded a dynasty which lasted 700 
years. There is a legend to the effect that his coming 
was at the invitation of the Slavs, who sought his aid 
and sovereignty, but there can be no doubt it was as a 
conqueror that Rurik came and established his race 
in Russia. Some of his followers, led by Askold and 
Dyr, sought fortune and conquest further south. These 
became masters of Kief, pressed on to Constantinople 
in 200 ships, embraced Christianity and returned to 
Kief, intending there to found a separate kingdom 
and dynasty. After the death of Rurik, his son Igor, 
a minor, succeeded ; his uncle, Oleg, as regent, went 
to Kief; there he treacherously killed the two usurping 
leaders, took possession of the city and, appointing 
Igor to the throne, determined that Kief should be 


The Story of Moscow 

the " mother of Russian towns." The people were 
then pagans, and the Northmen kept to the practices 
of their ancestors until about 955, when Olga was 
regent ; she visited Constantinople and was there 
baptised into the Christian faith. Some thirty years 
later, Vladimir, the seventh in descent from Rurik, 
ascended the throne, and during his reign the Christian 
religion was generally adopted throughout his realm. 
Kief then became closely associated with Constantinople, 
its connection with the Byzantine empire being both 
ecclesiastical and commercial. Novgorod, on the other 
hand, remained in closer touch with the west, supplying 
the Northmen with the wares of Araby and Ind that 
reached Russia by way of the Volga. Otther, the 
Scandinavian founder of Tver, where the Tmak joins 
the Volga north of Moscow, was a great trader and 
traveller ; at one time going as far east as Perm on 
the Kama (Biarmaland), at another to England 
where he gave King Alfred particulars of the fairs in 
the east, and the methods of trading with Asian 

In the Historical Museum of Moscow is a well 
arranged collection of prehistoric antiquities found in 
the empire. There is nothing among the stone im- 
plements to show that the earliest races in Russia in 
any way differed in habit from those of the same era 
occupying western Europe and the British Isles. The 
most ancient of the relics (Rooms I., II.) were found 
with bones of the mammoth in the district of Murom 
in Vladimir, and at Kostenki near Voronesh. Some 
ear-rings and a bracelet of twisted silver were found in 
the Kremlin, and a few other early remains when 
excavating for the foundations of the new cathedral, 
but these trifles are not evidence of early occupation, 
since they may have been left by travellers along the 

Pre-Muscovite Russia 

The frescoes are fanciful representations of supposed 
incidents in the life of the early inhabitants, and the 
models of tumuli, tombs, dolmens, cromlechs and the 
like, enable one to picture some part of the rude life 
of the people. Particularly deserving notice are the 
models of the dwellings of different races found in 
Russia: in many the living room is raised well above the 
ground. It was on the first-floor that the mediasyal 
Muscovites lived ; it is still the bel-etage, and preferred 
by all. 

The picture by Semiradski representing the funeral 
rites of the Bolgars has the warrant of history. On 
the death of a chief of this tribe, the remains were 
placed in a boat on a pile of wood ; horses, cattle, 
slaves, were slain and added ; the wife, or a maid 
offering herself a sacrifice, was feted for a time, then 
placed in the boat, and as soon as her attendants bade 
her farewell the pyre was fired, and subsequently a 
mound raised over the ashes. 

The stone idols, remarkable in their likeness to each 
other, are from all parts of Russia ; a similar one is to be 
seen at Kuntsevo, near Moscow, but both the " babas," 
as they are called, and pre-christian crosses, are more 
common in the south and east of Russia than in 

To the little that this Historical Collection tells of 
the early Slavs may be added such facts as ancient 
chroniclers have recorded. The Russians lived together 
in communities governed by elected or hereditary elders ; 
reared cattle and farmed bees ; they were nomadic, 
idolatrous, hospitable and fond of fermented liquors. 

Some writers dispute, disregard, or belittle the 
Varangian dominion in Russia ; contending that the 
Varoegers themselves were Slavs, were closely akin 
to them, or were quickly absorbed by them. To the 
contrary it is urged that Rurik and his followers 

possessed qualities peculiar to the Northmen ; that his 
kingdom in Russia resembled other Scandinavian 
colonies, and that certain customs he introduced were 
foreign to Slav habits. Vladimir, a direct descendant 
of Rurik, conquered Poland ; his son, Yaroslaf, both 
on account of his warlike achievements and the 
splendour in which he lived, was respected throughout. 
Europe. His daughters married into the reigning 
houses of France, Hungary and Norway ; a daughter of 
Vsevolod married Henry IV. of Germany ; Vladimir, 
the grandson of Yaroslaf, married Gyda, the daughter of 
Harold II. King of England; their son, Mstislaf, married 
Christina, daughter of the King of Sweden. Such a 
close connection between the Scandinavian and Russian 
courts is not likely to have obtained if the members 
belonged to different races. Scandinavian conquerors 
to some extent mixed with the peoples whose territory 
they occupied ; usually they married their own race. 
They fought with each other on matters of precedence 
and succession ; they thought much of personal valour 
and honour, and lived in the present with little regard 
to dynasty. They, as little as the Slavs to-day, would 
pay tribute to suzerains. 

Doubtless the Varangian leaders and their military 
companions, subsequently known as the drujni of the 
Russian princes, gave to the Slav character love of 
enterprise and power to initiate traits which have 
always distinguished Russian nobles from the peasantry. 
Again, the " Russkaia Pravda" of the tenth century 
is contemporary with and akin to " Knut's Code," 
which the English usually, but wrongly, attribute to King 
Alfred. One other point tells in favour of Scandi- 
navian dominion : the freedom accorded to women and 
the high position some of them took in the state. But 
their privileges and influence declined with the ascend- 
ency of the Slav, and the seclusion of women in the 

P re-Muscovite Russia 

Asiatic manner subsequently obtained in Moscow and 
lasted there until the days of Peter the Great. 

The Northmen introduced into Russia their system 
of succession, the odelsret that still prevails in Norway. 
The descendants of Rurik, with their military com- 
rades, fought against each other for the throne of Kief, 
or the inheritance of other possessions. As with each 
succeeding generation the princely family multiplied, 
the country was rent with dissensions. Now the ruler 
of Kief, then he of Novgorod became paramount ; in 
1158 the reigning prince of Vladimir succeeded, and, 
for the time, Kief became of second importance. The 
history of Russia during the tenth and succeeding 
centuries is a story of strife and disaster. Wars, with 
varying success, against Poles, Swedes, Lithuanians, 
and the predatory tribes on the south and east ; fires, 
famine, pestilence, succeeded each other and re-occurred. 
In 1124 Kief, the opulent and sacred city, was 
destroyed by fire ; some years later Novgorod was 
depopulated by famine ; robbers exacted blackmail 
from voyagers on the great waterways ; trade decayed. 
In 1224 the Russians made common cause with their 
enemy the Polovtsi to repel an invasion of Tartars ; 
they were beaten and Kief fell 50,000 of its in- 
habitants being put to the sword. Thirteen years 
later a second invasion of the Tartars resulted in the 
fall of Vladimir and the subjection of southern and 
eastern Russia to Mongol rule. Livonians, Swedes 
and Danes attacked Novgorod, but were repulsed. 
Pressed on these sides the Russians could extend only 
towards the inhospitable north. In these times and 
with this environment Moscow was founded, and 
nursed ; became a rallying point for the Slav race ; 
grew strong and rich ; and, by the genius of its rulers, 
dominated Russia. 

Slowly but surely the Scandinavian element was 

The Story of Moscow 

absorbed; with Ivan I. (1328-1341) the time of 
transition practically ended. A new policy of ag- 
grandisement was adopted and the Muscovite was 
evolved from the Slav race. Round Moscow, subject 
to the Tartar yoke, the people became patient and 
resigned ; born to endure bad fortune, they could 
profit by good. The princes of Moscow gained 
their ends by intrigue, by corruption, by the purchase 
of consciences, by servility to the Tartar Khans, by 
perfidy to their equals, by murder and treachery. 
" Politic and persevering, prudent and pitiless, it is 
their honour to have created the living germ which 
became great Russia." 


Origin and Early History 

"Away in the depths of the primeval forest, where one 
heard the low chanting of the solitary hermit in his retreat, 
arises the glorious Kremlin of Moscow town." 


IT is generally believed that the word Moscow is of 
Finnish origin ; in an old dialect kva means water, 
the exact significance of Mas is undecided, probably 
Moskva implies " the-way," simply the water-route 
to some trading point reached by this river from the 
Volga and Oka. It was the name by which the 
river was known, and from time immemorial there 
have been villages on the banks of the stream near 
the present town of Moscow. 

In the ninth century the hill which the Kremlin 
now covers was virgin forest. According to tradition 
Bookal, a hermit, was living there in 882, when Oleg, 
on his return to Novgorod from Kief, paused there 
and laid the first stone of the city. Sulkhovski, who 
had access to the archives of Moscow prior to their 
removal on the French invasion, asserts that there 
was documentary proof of this then in existence, but 
his statement lacks confirmation. 

The chroniclers make no mention of Moscow until 
1147. Between the foundation of the Rurik dynasty 
and this date the dominion of the Northmen had 
extended, and, divided and subdivided as generation 
succeeded generation, was split up into many districts, 


The Story of Moscow 

each ruled by a descendant of Rurik. These princes 
all claimed kinship, admitted the rights of their elders 
and the rule of the head of the house in Kief. In 
addition to the residences of the princes, their Jrujni, 
that is " war companions " or friends, had " halls," 
and held, subject to their prince, one or more villages. 
In the twelfth century one Stephen Kutchko had his 
hall near the Chisty Prud in Moscow, and the villages 
between the Moskva and the Yauza, with others, were 
within his lordship. 

In 1147 Yuri Dolgoruki, the Prince of Suzdal, in 
whose country Moscow was situated, agreed to meet 
his kinsmen Sviatoslaf and Oleg of Novgorod on the 
banks of the Moskva river, and thither they came with 
their drujni, and others, all of whom were so sumptuously 
entertained by Yuri, that the fame of Moscow and of 
Yuri was noised abroad. 

As the river Moskva was a highway for traffic 
between Suzdal, Vladimir and the Volga in the east, 
with Smolensk in the west and Kief in the south, 
the villages on its banks were important. The hill 
on which the Kremlin stands appeared to Yuri a point 
of vantage, and, as it was near the boundary of his 
territory, he there constructed a fortress and also built, 
or rebuilt or enlarged, the church which served for the 
inhabitants of the village of Kutchkovo hard by, and 
for those of other villages in the neighbourhood. 

All chroniclers agree that Yuri was the first to make 
a stronghold of the hill on the Moskva ; most state 
further that he put to death Stephen Kutchko, but 
attribute this act to different causes. One story has 
it that Yuri wished to wed the wife of Stephen, so 
put him out of the way. As Yuri was but recently 
married to a kinswoman of Mstislaf, and so allied to the 
dominant house in Novgorod, this story is improbable. 
Another legend is to the effect that Kutchko, proud 

Origin and Early History 

of his village, refused due homage to his superior lord, 
and so suffered ; and another that a village was taken 
from Kutchko to endow Andrew Bogoloobski, a son 
of Yuri's wedded to the daughter of a neighbouring 
boyard, whence the trouble. This last story is 
supported by the fact that later the sons of the killed 
Kutchko conspired against the enriched Andrew 
Bogoloobski ; one was killed in attacking him, whilst 
the other succeeded in avenging a wrong done. Later 
historians are of opinion that Kutchko was an inter- 
loper from Black Russia or Podolia, trespassing on 
the territory of Yuri, who treated him as a usurper. 

It was in 1156 that Moscow became a town just 
a cluster of dwellings on the Kremlin hill with a fence 
extending from the narrow stream Neglinnaia (now a 
covered sewer under the Alexander Gardens), from 
the Troitski Gate to the Moskva at, or near, the 
Tainitski Gate. The chief house was built on the 
spot now covered by the Orujnia Palata. A church, 
Spass na Boru, St Saviour of the Pines, is supposed 
to have existed where the church of that name, the 
oldest building in the Kremlin, now stands. Another 
church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, once existed 
nearer the foot of the hill, and its altar was removed 
to the chapel adjoining the Borovitski Gate when a 
later erection was demolished. Both of these churches 
were known as " In the Wood," and the name still 
preserves the memory of the thick forest that once 
covered the hill, and probably extended far and near 
on both sides of the Moskva. 

The founder of Moscow, Kniaz Yuri Dolgoruki 
Vladimirovich, or, as the English call him, Prince 
George Long-ith'-arm, Vladimir's son, was a son of 
that Prince of Kief who married Gyda, the daughter 
of Harold II. of England. Yuri, like his father, was 
a man of great energy and did much to strengthen and 


The Story of Moscow 

improve the towns within his territory. He is described 
as "above the middle height, stout, fair complexioned, 
with a large nose, long and crooked ; his chin small ; 
a great lover of women, sweet things and liquor ; great 
at merry-makings, and not backward in war." 

For a century or more Moscow remained in obscurity, 
an insignificant appanage of the younger sons of the 
princes of Suzdal. It was long before any of the 
reigning house made it a place of residence. In the 
meantime, a stronghold, it attracted traders and the 
attention of enemies. Gleb of Riazan has the dis- 
tinction of being the first to set fire to the town, but 
the earliest enemy of importance was the Tartar. 

In 1224 tne Golden Horde defeated the Slavs 
in South Russia, destroyed Kief, marched towards 
Novgorod Sverski, then, " without ostensible reason," 
returned to Bokhara, to the camp of their leader, 
Khingiz Khan. In 1237 Baati, a grandson of 
Khingiz, crossed the Volga and laid the country 
waste. On the march of this horde westward Moscow 
was burnt ; Vladimir was first taken. There the 
princess and other persons of distinction took refuge 
in a church, where they were burnt alive. Yuri II., 
the reigning prince, absent at the time, then attempted 
revenge and was slain in battle. There was little 
resistance ; the Tartars subdued many towns and 
reduced whole provinces ; marched within sixty miles 
of Novgorod Sverski, then again " without ostensible 
cause" turned eastward and left Russia. 

The Tartar was not driven from his own country ; 
he raided because it was his nature so to do. The 
object of these early incursions, as of subsequent raids 
into Russian territory, was " to get stores of captives, 
both boys and girls, whom they sell to the Turks 
and other neighbouring Mahometan countries." Rich 
towns, therefore, could buy the Tartar off; a fact 

Origin and Early History 

which influenced the later policy of the Muscovites. 
Poor towns and ill-protected districts were, until a 
comparatively recent period, liable to " slave-raids " 
from Tartars and others. The Sultan Ahmed I. of 
Constantinople asked of Osman, his eldest son and 
heir, " My Osman, wilt thou conquer Crete for me ? " 


" What have I to do with Crete ? I will conquer the 
land of the white Russian girls," answered the boy. 
And as he thought to do, so many of his race did. 
It was not until the present century that the exchange 
of prisoners of war became the practice of Turks and 
B 17 

'The Story of Moscow 

Russians. The Tartars, with their enormous crowd of 
captives, could not winter in Russia, hence their 
timely withdrawal " without ostensible cause " on 
several occasions. 

Moscow was soon rebuilt after this Tartar invasion. 
A few years later Michael Khorobrit, a brother of the 
successful Alexander Nevski, ruler of Novgorod, suc- 
ceeded to Moscow, and became its first actual prince ; 
but during the war the Lithuanians commenced against 
Novgorod in 1242, Michael was killed. Tradition 
has it that this Michael was the builder of the first 
cathedral of the Archangel in the Kremlin. 

He was succeeded in Moscow by Daniel, the fourth 
son of Alexander Nevski, and thenceforward the 
fortunes of Novgorod and Moscow were more in 
common. Moscow was chief of the few villages 
Daniel received as his portion. He made the most 
of it. In 1 293 the Tartars, under Dudenia, fired 
the town and destroyed the churches, monastery, and 
all buildings on the Kremlin hill. Daniel set ener- 
getically to work to build a larger and stronger town. 
He re-erected the church Spass na Boru ; built the 
cathedral of the Archangel, and that of the Annun- 
ciation ; founded the Danilof monastery, and incor- 
porated the one known as Krutitski. He so added to 
the town that it quickly became prosperous, and when 
he died in 1303 his son, George, succeeded to a posi- 
tion of wealth and power. Daniel was of the line of 
Rurik, and from him were descended the subsequently 
mighty race of Moscow Tsars. George acquired 
Mojaisk ; then began a struggle with Tver, which 
continued from father to son, lasted eighty years. 
The quarrel arose from a disputed succession. 
Andrew, Prince of Suzdal, died in 1304; George 
of Moscow, his nephew, wished to succeed him. His 
right to do so was questioned by Michael of Tver, 

Origin and Early History 

who was cousin-german of the deceased. Michael, 
the eldest, was accepted by the boyars, and his election 
was confirmed by the Tartars, who claimed the right 
of appointing the sovereign. George then caused 
himself to be recognised as a Prince of Novgorod, 
and still disputed. Michael besieged him in Moscow, 
and for a time there was peace. Then George again 
attempted to obtain Tver, and a second time he was 
forced to take refuge in Moscow, which was again 
besieged by Michael. 

Tokhta, Khan of the Golden Horde of Tartars on 
the Volga, died ; he was succeeded by Usbek, to whom 
George of Moscow at once repaired to do homage and 
obtain favours. He so represented affairs to Usbek 
that he obtained from him his sister Kontchaka in 
marriage, and was adjudged rightful successor to 
Andrew of Suzdal. George returned to Russia ac- 
companied by a Mongol army under a baskak, one 
Kavgadi. The boyards still supported Michael, who 
was a great fighter. Michael, refusing to submit to 
Kavgadi, was accused of having drawn sword against 
an envoy of the Khan, and later, when Kontchaka 
died, of having poisoned her. To arrange this matter 
Michael, busy in defending his province against other 
enemies, sent his twelve-year old son to the Horde ; 
George went himself and compassed the fall of his 
rival. The Khan reluctantly complied with George's 
request for a sentence of death upon Michael ; it was 
no sooner granted than George hastened away to give 
it effect, and Michael was done to death in his tent by 
George's servants. Michael became a saint ; George the 
all-powerful ruler of Moscow, Suzdal and Novgorod. 

Dmitri, of the " terrible eyes," son of Michael, 
succeeded to Tver and determined upon revenge. 
When at last he met George of Moscow he slew him, 
but for thus going against his superior prince was him- 


T'be Story of Moscow 

self put to death, and his brother, Alexander, succeeded 
him in Vladimir in 1325. 

Such is the story of the little wooden town. Its 
rulers with, possibly, the exception of Daniel 
regarded it merely as a property, the possession of 
which might lead to the acquisition of a more im- 
portant capital. It flourished because it was in the 
midst of a country that was self-supporting, as well as 
being conveniently situated as a mart for the inter- 
change of products from north and south, east and 
west. Its disasters were such as other towns suffered ; 
its advantages of site they did not possess. 


Moscow under the Mongols 

" At Sara, in the lande of Tartarie, 

There dwelled a king who werryed Russie." 

CHAUCER Story of Gambtucan bold. 

first real prince of Moscow was Ivan I., sur- 
named "Kalita" (the Purser), who of his own 
right inherited Moscow from his father, Daniel, and by 
the grace of the Khan, was also Grand Prince of 
Vladimir in succession to his brother George. He made 
alliances, matrimonial and other, for himself and his, 
so adding to his possessions, and by purchase acquir- 
ing also Uglitch, Galitch and Bielozersk. Like his 
brother he kept on good terms with the Khan. At 
the command of Usbek he made war on Tver, 
Novgorod and Pskov. The Tartar Horde and the 
Muscovites fought in concert against Russian enemies. 
When Tver rose against the Tartar, Ivan, with 
Moscow, was on the side of the Mongols. When 
Usbek ordered him to produce Alexander of Tver, 
who was a fugitive in Pskov, Ivan induced the metro- 
politan to interdict Alexander and the Pskovians 
thus a Christian prince and people were excom- 
municated by their own kin at the behest of Tartars. 

Ivan " Kalita," in his turn, served the church well. 
Peter, the metropolitan of Vladimir, had often resided in 
Moscow ; Theognistus lived there almost constantly ; 
and for Ivan, Vladimir was only the town in which 


T'be Story of Moscow 

he had been crowned. It was in Moscow that he 
lived and for Moscow he worked. In order to make 
it attractive to the metropolitan and to obtain for it 
the religious supremacy which had first belonged to 
Kiev, then to Vladimir, he built magnificent churches 
notably that of the Assumption (Uspenski Sobor) 
and was practically successful in so far that Moscow 
had the prestige of a metropolis ; but Vladimir 
remained the legal capital, and as such was recognised 
by the Khans. 

Ivan surrounded the hill with a wall of oak in place 
of the deal fence formerly its sole protection, and he 
gave to the enclosure the Tartar name of " Kreml " 
or fortress. This then included his own dwelling ; 
the cathedrals of the Assumption, of the Annunciation 
and of the Archangel Michael ; the churches of Spass na 
Boru and of St John the Baptist ; as also the dwellings 
of his drujnij followers and military companions. 
It was at his instigation too, that Sergius founded the 
Troitsa monastery in order to rival the Pecherskoi 
monastery and catacombs of Kiev. Ivan knew well 
the power of money and was free in using it ; he was 
cunning, unscrupulous and discerning. He demanded 
and obtained from Novgorod more than he intended 
to pay on her behalf to Usbek, and was everywhere 
successful as farmer-general of taxes and imposts made 
on Russia by the Horde. When he died, in 1341, he 
ordered that Moscow should not be divided, and he 
left by far the largest portion of his possessions to his 
son Simeon, surnamed "The Proud." 

Simeon, most submissive before the Khan, bought 
over the horde by using his father's treasure. To his 
brothers he was haughty and overbearing. As inter- 
mediary between the Tartars and Russian states he 
enjoyed privileges denied to his seniors, and arrogated 
to himself the title and position of " Prince of all 

Moscow under the Mongols 

the Russias." He continued his father's policy in 
Moscow, engaging Greek artists to ornament the 
cathedrals, and many native workmen to enlarge and 
improve the buildings within the Kremlin, spending 
upon Moscow the tribute he exacted from Novgorod 
and other towns. 

Ivan II. who succeeded him, 1353, was of quite 
another sort. Gentle, pacific, lovable all outraged 
him ; he would have lost his throne had not the church 
supported him loyally. Moris, a monk, quelled a 
revolt ; a fire destroyed the Kremlin ; when he died 
the succession to the title of Grand Duke, which his 
three predecessors had made such efforts to keep in the 
house of Moscow, passed to their kinsmen at Suzdal. 

Alexis, the metropolitan, saved the supremacy of 
Moscow. After crowning Dmitri at Vladimir he 
returned to Moscow to take charge of the children of 
Ivan II. and refused to leave the town. Dmitri was 
in his ninth year when he succeeded his father in 
Moscow, and remained in the tutelage of the church 
for many years. It was to the prompting of Alexis 
even more than to that of his own kinsmen that the 
breach of the Tartar alliance is due. Dmitri availed 
himself of a division in the Tartar horde to question the 
supremacy of either leader. Later he had the courage 
to visit Mamai who was then the more power- 
ful and had the good luck to get back alive. Seven 
years later he won a battle against Mamai, in Riazan. 

In 1635 a fire on All Saints' Day destroyed the 
Kremlin wall and, a storm raging at the time, 
Moscow was almost in ruins. In 1367 the Kremlin 
was surrounded with a new wall of masonry and in 
the following year this was put to the test when an 
attack was made on Moscow by some bands of pagan 
Lithuanians under Olgerd, his brother Kistut and his 
subsequently famous nephew Vitovt. " Olgerd camped 


The Story of Moscow 

before the walls, pillaged the churches and monasteries 
in the neighbourhood, but did not assault the Kremlin, 
the walls of which frightened him." Two years later 
he returned to the attack, but his enterprise was un- 
successful. In the meantime Mamai, the Tartar leader, 
had matured his scheme of revenge. In 1 380 he had 
collected his forces and was marching on Moscow 
when Dmitri, with the aid of all the neighbouring 
princes, got together an immense army and determined 
to give battle. 

The confederate troops gathered in the Kremlin 
included contingents supplied by the princes of Rostov, 
Bielozersk and Yaroslaf, and the boyards of Vladimir, 
Suzdal, Uglitch, Serpukhov, Dmitrov, Mojaisk and 
other towns. After service in the cathedral they left 
by the Frolovski (Spasski) Nikolski and other gates 
in the east wall, escorted by the clergy with crucifixes 
and miracle-working ikons, the troops marching behind 
a black standard on which was painted a portrait of the 
Saviour on a nimbus of gold. 

Dmitri before advancing against the Tartars went 
to St Sergius at the Troitsa monastery to ask his 
blessing, and was there comforted with a prophecy 
of victory. More, Sergius sent two monks, Osliabia 
and Peresvet, to encourage the Muscovites. They 
wore a cross on their cowls and went into the thick 
of the battle. Peresvet was found dead on the field 
tightly grasping a Patsinak giant who had slain him. 
The armies met at Kulikovo on the Don, where 
Dmitri with his 150,000 men after a hard fight 
obtained the victory, and Mamai fled. The battle 
was really won by the troops of Vladimir and Dmitri 
of Volhynia, whose men remained in ambush until the 
best moment for attack came. 

With historians Dmitri, who, badly wounded, was 
found in a swoon after the battle, is the hero of 


Moscow under the Mongols 

the day, and he added the name of Donskoi to 
commemorate the victory. Sophronius, a priest of 
Riazan, who wrote an epic of the battle, awards chief 
honours to the monks, and makes St Sergius, through 
them, support the courage of Dmitri at critical stages. 

Though Mamai was beaten by Dmitri, he fought 
again before he fell into the hands of his rival 
Tamerlane, who put him to death. Then Tamerlane 
sent an envoy to Dmitri acquainting him with the fact 
that their common enemy had been vanquished and 
calling upon him and all Russian princes to present them- 
selves to him and make their homage to the Horde. 

Dmitri failed to comply, and when the Tartars 
advanced into his territory he tried to raise an army 
to oppose them. The princes who had promised him 
support failed to afford it, and Dmitri, unable to get 
40,000 men together, was still waiting reinforcements 
at Kostroma when the Tartars under Tokhtamysh, a 
descendant of Khingis Khan, appeared before the walls 
of Moscow. 

The defence of the Kremlin was in the hands of 
a Lithuanian, Ostei, and the Tartar attack was re- 
pulsed ; boiling water being thrown from the towers ; 
stones and baulks of timber dropped from the walls 
upon the assailants in the ditch. For three days the 
Tartars tried to effect an entrance by force. Then 
Tokhtamysh stated that it was not with the people 
of Moscow the Tartars were at war, but only with 
their prince and his companions, inviting those who 
had sought refuge in the Kremlin to come out and 
occupy their dwellings where they would not be 
molested. The besieged believed him, and, laden 
with presents and preceded by the clergy, they went 
out of the Kremlin to meet the enemy as friends. 
The Tartars at once fell upon them, killed Ostei 
and the other leaders, and forced a way into the 


The Story of Moscow 

fortress. The defenders were demoralised, " they 
cried out like feeble women and tore their hair, 
making no attempt even to save themselves. The 
Tartars slew without mercy; 24,000 perished. They 
broke into the churches and treasuries, pillaged every- 
where, and burned a mass of books, papers and 
whatever they could not otherwise destroy ; not a 
house was left standing save the few built of stone." 

After Tokhtamysh withdrew Dmitri returned and 
was horrified at the ruin wrought. He is said to 
have repented of his victory over the Tartars at 
Kulikovo, a barren victory after this desolation, and 
to have called out "Our fathers who never triumphed 
over Tartars were less unhappy than we." 

Moscow was quickly rebuilt. When Dmitri died 
in 1389 the principality was the largest and most 
thriving of the states in the north-east of Russia. 
As the Horde withdrew the "Good companions" from 
Novgorod devastated the country round, but Vladimir 
and Moscow alike in having a Kremlin on a hill, 
were far enough away from the Volga to escape the 
attention of these free-booters from the north-west. 

Vasili, the son of Dmitri Donskoi, succeeded his 
father, and twice saw his territory invaded by the 
Horde. In 1392 he bought a larlikh of the Tartars 
freeing to him Moscow, Nijni and Suzdal. In 1395, 
to escape an inroad of the Tartars, the celebrated ikon 
of the Virgin (see Frontispiece) was brought from 
Vladimir to Moscow, but the Tartars did not venture 
so far. This time they stopped at Eletz-on-the-Don, 
pillaged Azov where much Egyptian, Venetian, 
Genoese, Biscayan and other merchandise was ware- 
housed and returned to Tartary sacking Sarai and 
Astrakhan on their way thither. 

During these turbulent times Moscow increased in 
importance. The two years of peace Dmitri secured 

Moscow under the Mongols 

after his victory at Kulikovo he used to strengthen the 
defences. Already, itf/j^Fj?, he had substituted a 
wall of masonry for the old wood rampart round the 
Kremlin ; now handsome gates with towers were 
added. Its finest church at this period was that of 
the Transfiguration, more usually styled " Spass na 
Boru," which, built in stone in 1330, had been con- 
siderably enlarged and a monastery attached ; there 
were the cells in or near the church building, vaults 
below it for secreting treasure, a hospital for the 
infirm, and a cemetery for the princes, but their 
tombs were subsequently transferred to the Arch- 
angelski Sobor. 

Within the Kremlin, or near by, were the monasteries 
of Chudof (Miracles), Vossnesenski (Ascension), 
Bogoyavlenni (Epiphany), Rojdestvenski (Nativity), 
St Alexis, St Peter the Apostle, of Daniel, Simon, 
and Spasso-Preobrajenni (the Transfiguration). To 
commemorate the withdrawal of Tamerlane, Vasili 
founded the monastery of the Sretenka (Meeting). 
He made a fosse across the town from the field of 
Kuchko to the river Moskva, and later surrounded the 
town with a stone wall. 

A strong place now ; the lesser nobles, cadets of the 
house of Rurik, took up their residence in Moscow 
and shared its fortune. 

In 1408 the Lithuanians aided by the Tartars laid 
siege to Moscow, a siege which is memorable from the 
fact that cannons were then first used in its defence, 
though Mamai had brought Genoese gunners against 
Dmitri twenty years earlier. Ediger led the assault, 
and, though his forces had to retreat, the boyards of 
Moscow paid to him 3000 roubles as a war indemnity ; 
the Monastery of St Sergius at Troitsa was burned, the 
surrounding country pillaged and the peasants ruthlessly 

The Story of Moscow 

It cannot be said that the first Vasili did much for 
Moscow. He was in retreat at Kostroma when the 
inhabitants of the town, led by " Vladimir the Brave," 
successfully defended it ; both pestilence and famine 
were frequent during his reign of thirty-six years, and 
at his death the succession was disputed. 

In 1431 Yuri attempted to revert to the ancient 
custom of succession of the eldest, and claimed the 
throne from Vasili II., the son of Vasili I. To avoid 
war it was agreed to refer the matter to the Horde 
for settlement. Vsevoloshski, a boyard of Moscow, 
advanced the most potent argument on behalf of Vasili. 
"My Lord Tsar," he said to Ulu Mahomet, "let me 
speak, me, the slave of the Grand Prince. My master 
prays for the throne, which is thy property, having no 
other title but thy protection, thy investiture and thy 
iarlikh. Thou art master and can dispose of it at thy 
pleasure. My lord, the Prince Yuri Dmitrovich, my 
master's uncle, claims the throne of the Grand Prince 
by the act and will of his father, but not as a favour 
from the all powerful." This flattery had a suitable 
reward ; the Khan appointed Vasili to the throne, and 
ordered Yuri to lead his nephew's horse by the bridle. 

Vasili II. was crowned at Moscow, not at Vladimir, 
and the supremacy of Moscow was admitted. Vasili 
was to have married a daughter of Vsevoloshski, but 
instead married a grand-daughter of Vladimir the 
Brave, the defender of Moscow. The offended 
boyard went over to the side of Yuri and fanned 
his resentment. Yuri's two sons, Vasili, the squint- 
eyed, and Chemiaki were present at the marriage 
festivities of Vasili, whose mother, the Princess 
Sophia, seeing round the waist of the young Vasili 
a belt of gold that had belonged to Dmitri Donskoi, 
there and then seized it from him. The brothers 
took umbrage at this open affront; forthwith they 


Moscow under the Mongols 

left Moscow and induced their father to take up 

At Kostroma, Vasili II. fell into the power of Yuri, 
who spared his life and gave him Kostroma as an 
appanage, betaking himself to Moscow. Thereupon the 
inhabitants of Moscow deserted the town and took up 
residence with their prince in Kostroma. Owing to 
the popularity of Vasili II., Yuri was powerless and 
sent to him at Kostroma inviting him to return to his 
own. On his return the people crowded round him 
" like bees round their queen." Later, Vasili, the squint- 
eyed, fell into the hands of Vasili II., who had his 
eyes put out ; then at once repenting the act, set free 
his brother Chemiaki, and war again broke out between 
them. Chemiaki with a host of free lances "good 
companions " and such men as he could get together 
besieged Moscow. Then in came the Tartar horde 
and Vasili could get but 1 5,000 men together to oppose 
them. He made a valiant struggle, but, wounded in 
fifteen places, he was taken prisoner to Kazan. 

Moscow was in despair: Tver insulted her and 
Chemiaki intrigued to get himself made prince. Then 
the Khan suddenly agreed to liberate Vasili II. for a 
small ransom, and soon the prince was in his capital 
again. He went forthwith to Troitsa to return thanks 
for his escape. During his absence, Chemiaki surprised 
the Kremlin and there captured the wife and mother 
of Vasili and took all the treasure. Hurrying after 
Vasili to Troitsa, he made him prisoner, brought him 
back to Moscow, and in 1446 put out his eyes in 
revenge for the like act upon his brother Vasili. 
Chemiaki, some time afterwards, left Moscow to go 
against the Tartars ; the town revolted during his 
absence and Vasili was once more restored to the 
throne, which as " Vasili the Blind " he held until 
his death in 1462. 

3 1 

The Story of Moscow 

It is not easy to account for the popularity of Vasili 
II. ; possibly the detestation in which Chemiaki was 
held made the mild virtues of Vasili more prominent ; 
for in the language of the people, a "judgment of 
Chemiaki " is, proverbially, tantamount to a crying 

Events outside Russia strengthened the supremacy 
of Moscow. At the Council of Florence (1439) 
Pope Eugene suggested the union of the eastern and 
western churches, and amongst the many representatives 
of the eastern church present Isidor, the metro- 
politan of Moscow, agreed to the proposal and signed 
the act of union. How Mark, Bishop of Ephesus, 
protested, and at last carried the Greeks with him in 
repudiating the union, is no part of this history. Isidor 
having accepted, introduced the Latin cross, made use 
of the name of the Pope in the services and so 
astonished the Russians that Vasili interfered. He 
reproached Isidor for his bad faith, and in dismay the 
prelate fled to Rome. In 1453 Mahomet II. entered 
Constantinople. There was no longer a Christian 
emperor of the east, and Moscow became the heir of 
Constantinople and the metropolis of orthodoxy. 
Ivan, the artist-monk of Constantinople, brought to 
Moscow such of the holy relics as he could save, 
and, what is more, by his own genius impressed upon 
the Muscovite priesthood a love of culture to which 
Moscow had hitherto been a stranger. 

Ivan III., styled "The Uniter of Russia," was 
twenty-two years of age when, in 1462, he succeeded 
his father Vasili, the Blind. He continued the policy 
of the princes of Moscow and early obtained a success 
against the Tartars of Kazan. In 1472 he married 
Sophia, a daughter of Thomas Paleologus, a brother of 
the last emperor of Byzantium, and this union, with 
a member of the race that had so long held sway over 


Moscow under the Mongols 

all orthodox Christianity, greatly influenced his policy. 
His wife, less patient than the Russians, found the 
Mongol yoke unbearable. " How long am I to be 
the slave of Tartars ? " she would ask, and there is 
little doubt that it is to her urging that Ivan became 
aggressive. He was not personally courageous, pre- 
ferring to remain in Moscow, and allow his people to 
fight on the frontiers of Russia ; when forced into the 
field, his method was to avoid giving battle and wear 
out the enemy with delays, retreats, and puzzling, 
irritating marches and counter-marches. 

In 1472 he conquered Perm; in 1475 ^ e was 
successful against Novgorod the Great; in 1478 he 
openly rebelled against the Khan ; in 1 499 he pushed 
the confines of Russia to Petchora on the Arctic Sea. 
He was a puzzle to his enemies, gaining victories over 
Lithuanians, Livonians and Siberians, without leaving 
the Kremlin. Stephen of Moldavia said of him, 
" Ivan is a strange man ; he stays quietly at home yet 
triumphs over his enemies, whilst 1, although always 
on horseback, cannot defend my own country." 

Born a despot he was initiated into the mysteries 
of autocratic government by his wife. Cold, cruel and 
cunning, he brooked no opposition where he thought 
he could triumph ; was an arrant coward whenever the 
issue was doubtful. 

When he vanquished Novgorod, he brought the 
boyards to Moscow, and settled them there ; three 
years later he tortured some, and put others to death. 
He was relentless in punishing rebellion, no matter 
what the rank of the offender. He whipped Prince 
Oukhtomski, and ordered the archimandrite of a 
monastery to be flogged ; mutilated the counsellors 
of his son, cowed the boyards, burnt alive Poles 
who had conspired against him ; pillaged the German 
traders of goods to the value of ^40,000, and played 

c 33 

The Story of Moscow 

the tyrant so thoroughly that even when he slept no 
boyard " durst open his mouth in whispers " for fear 
of disturbing his master's slumber. 

Towards the Great Horde he was both respectful 
and recalcitrant. He repulsed the invasions of ad- 
venturers into his territory ; avoided the payment of 
tribute by sending costly presents regularly. But in 
1478, when Khan Akhmet sent envoys with his 
image to receive tribute, Ivan openly rebelled ; put all 
the messengers to death, save one ; trampled the image 
of the Khan under foot, spat on the edict, and allowed 
this news to reach the Khan. When the enraged 
Tartars advanced towards Moscow, Ivan wished to 
remain in the city, but the inhabitants would have no 
shirking. " What ! he has overtaxed us, refused to 
pay tribute to the Horde, and now that he has enraged 
the Khan, though he does not want to fight, he must 
and shall." Ivan journeyed about from one town 
to another, returning to Moscow on various pretexts. 
He wished to consult the clergy, the boyards, his 
mother, anybody. The answer was always the same, 
'* March against the enemy ! " Forced to go South, 
he wished to send his son back to Moscow, but the 
young Ivan disobeyed. 

Archbishop Vassian urged Ivan to go to the front. 
" Is it part of mortals to fear death ? We cannot 
escape destiny ; a good shepherd will, at need, lay down 
his life for his flock." But this prompting did not 
suffice. Vassian at last lost patience, wrote a bellicose 
letter to Ivan, recounting the deeds of his heroic 
ancestors, from Igor Sviatoslaf to Dmitri Donskoi. 
Ivan assured him that this letter " filled his heart with 
joy, himself with courage and strength " ; but another 
fortnight passed, and Ivan had not advanced a step. 

When at last the two armies came within sight of 
each other, the streams Oogra and Oka separated them. 


Moscow under the Mongols 

They insulted each other bravely across the water, but 
not daring to ford, waited until the river should be 
frozen. When this happened, Ivan at once gave 
orders for his forces to withdraw. Seeing the army 
in motion an inexplicable panic seized the Tartars, and 
they hastened away. Both armies were in flight, and 
no one pursuing. In such pitiful fashion did the 
Mongol supremacy terminate. For more than three 
centuries Moscow had acknowledged the rule of the 
Golden Horde, now a thoroughly demoralised rabble. 
The remnants in their flight south were opposed by 
the Nogay and Krim Tartars, and defeated. The 
Khan Akhmet was then put to death by his own men. 

Ivan next sent his voievodes or " war-leaders " 
against Kazan; in 1487 they took it and made 
Alegam, its commander, a prisoner. In his boyhood 
Ivan had been imprisoned in Kazan by his Tartar 
enemies, and so now was able to turn the tables on 
them completely. 

His next act exemplifies his statesmanship. Instead 
of annexing Kazan to Moscow he gave the crown to 
the nephew of his powerful ally, the Khan of the 
Krim Tartars. This Khan could not ask for the 
release of Alegam, because he was an enemy of his 
own nephew, the newly installed ruler of Kazan ; but 
the leaders of the Khivan and Nogay Tartars, who 
were related to him, felt that Islam had been wronged, 
and despatched an envoy to Moscow praying for 
Alegam's release. Ivan declined, but did so graciously, 
and gave no offence. He made the envoys presents, 
and sent to their leaders other presents, much foreign 
cloth and trinkets for their wives, whom he styled his 
sisters. Ivan did not treat directly with the envoys, 
making use of the western method of conducting 
negotiations through an officer of his court. 

Ivan took the two-headed eagle as the arms of his 


country. Its early form is still to be seen on the wall 
of Granovitaia palace in the Kremlin. The device of 
St George and the Dragon, which Yuri Dolgoruki 
the founder of Moscow used, was from this time more 
closely associated with the city of Moscow, and the 
eagle taken as the arms of the ruler. 

When it became necessary for Ivan to appoint his 
successor he hesitated, and at last made choice of 
Dmitri, the son of Ivan, his eldest child, then dead. 
His wife advanced the claims of her own son Vasili ; 
his daughter-in-law, Ivan's widow, her own son. 
Having proclaimed Dmitri heir, he threw Vasili into 
prison and degraded his wife ; then he changed his 
mind, imprisoned his daughter-in-law and grandson, 
and proclaimed Vasili his heir. In 1505 he died, 
and Vasili was at once crowned ruler of Moscow. 


Moscow of the Princes 

" As pearls thy thousand crowns appear, 
Thy hands a diamond sceptre hold, 
Thy domes, thy steeples, bright and clear 
Seem sunny rays in eastern gold." DMITRIEV. 

WASILI III. succeeded his father and reigned in 
Moscow for nearly thirty years. From the 
historical point of view, he is unfortunate, as he followed 
a sovereign recognised as "Great," whose conquests 
and innovations changed the destiny of Moscow, and 
was succeeded by a ruler, who, by his barbarities, won 
for himself the surname of "Terrible." Vasili III. 
was not a warrior, and when he made war it was by 
preference against Slavonic peoples in the west. His 
chief delight was in building : churches, monasteries, 
city-walls, palaces none of these came amiss to him ; 
he constructed some of all, leaving Moscow much 
stronger, richer and more beautiful than he found it. 
He made the most of such services as the Italian 
masters could render, but in those times, all tfiat was 
done in Moscow in any one age appears to have been 
executed at the command of the reigning prince. The 
houses of the nobility have all disappeared, and to the 
date of Vasili III. there appear to have been no founders 
of churches in Moscow, other than the princes. Not 
that these necessarily found the labour or material ; as 
often as not a church was built from the proceeds of a 


The Story of Moscow 

fine laid upon some town or government at the pleasure 
of the prince. 

Vasili was the first to build a stone palace in the 
Kremlin, that known as the Granovitaia, which is 
still standing. But Herberstein wrote that Vasili would 
not live in it, preferring his old palace of wood. 

During his reign the Tartars got as near Moscow as 
the Sparrow Hills ; there they sacked the royal palace 
and cellars containing large stores of mead. They 
became intoxicated with the liquor and advanced no 
further, but the leader obtained from Vasili a treaty in 
which he acknowledged the sovereignty of the Horde 
and promised yearly tribute. Vasili's voievodes at 
Riazan, thinking the terms shameful, intercepted the 
returning Tartars, routed them, and got back the treaty. 
The following year, goaded to action, Vasili got an 
army together and went out towards the Khan, challeng- 
ing him to battle. The Khan answered that he knew 
the way into Russia, and was not in the habit of asking 
his enemies when he should fight. In revenge for this 
insult, Vasili established a fair at Makharief, on the 
Volga ; it ruined the mart of Kazan and was subse- 
quently moved to Nijni- Novgorod, where it is still 
held yearly. 

Vasili married first, Solomonia Sa*burov, but, as after 
twenty years of married life she had no son, he forced 
her to take the veil and married Helena Glinski, of 
Lithuania. This gave great offence to the Church ; 
when he sent specially to the highest authority on 
the technical question, Mark, Patriarch of Jerusalem, 
is reported to have made the following remarkable 
prediction : 

11 Shouldst thou contract a second marriage thou shalt 
have a wicked son ; thy states shall become a prey to terrors 
and tears; riversof blood shall flow; the heads of the mighty 
shall fall ; thy cities shall be devoured by flames." 


Moscow of the Princes 

Vasili disregarded the decision of the Church and 
married a most able and enlightened woman, who had 
the foresight to surround the Kitai Gorod with a wall 
of good masonry, and it is said, named that part of the 
town after a similarly designated enclosure in her native 
place. She bore Vasili two sons, Ivan, the Tsarevich, 


who was later the "terrible " Tsar, succeeding to the 
throne in 1533, when but three years of age. The 
younger son, Yuri, fared badly at the hands of his 
cruel brother. 

The Moscow of the Princes was of wood, and the 


The Story of Moscow 

vestiges remaining are unimportant. Some of the later 
buildings, as the palace of the Terem and towers of 
the Kremlin wall, have been built in the style of the 
wooden erections they replaced ; but it is not easy to 
picture Moscow as it was before Ivan's Italian work- 
men raised their walls of brick and stone. 

The town was of great size ; in 1520 it contained 
41,500 dwellings and 100,000 inhabitants. Its cir- 
cumference was nearly twelve miles. The Grand 
Prince and his relations lived in the Kremlin ; so did 
a few of the richest and most powerful nobles. In the 
Kitai Gorod lived the traders, the wealthy boyards 
and foreigners. The Bielo Gorod, " White " or 
Free Town, was occupied by boyards, merchants and 
privileged citizens ; in the outer ring lived the artisans 
and labourers. The churches and chapels were 
numerous. Ivan Kalita built ten when there were 
already eighteen in the town, in 1337 ; in the reign 
of Vasili III. there were as many monasteries and 
nunneries, and upwards of three score churches and 

The first dwelling in the Kremlin was the Prince's 
habitation, originally called the Prince's apartment, 
which served only as a pied a terre for the Prince 
when passing through. When Moscow became a 
place of residence then a house was put up near 
where the Great Palace now is. Then followed the 
usual dependences ; including a prison or dungeon. 
Even at that early date the Russian carpenters were 
able craftsmen ; how expert they afterwards became 
the wonderful wooden palaces and churches of Russia 
accurately demonstrate. 

The Princes of Moscow were not extravagant, their 

palaces consisting of four chambers, en suite the one 

most distant from the entrance was the sleeping-room ; 

then, adjoining it, the oratory or private chapel ; the 


Moscow of the Princes 

room for living or affairs of the town, the anti- 
chamber ; the vestibule ; add kitchens and domestic 
rooms on a lower floor, and the early palaces of the 
Russian princes is complete. 

Vasili III. required no more; his palace in the 
Kremlin consisted, on the bel etage, of the vestibule, 
an anti-chamber, and two rooms. In a separate 
building, reached by a corridor or covered staircase, 
the bathroom and storerooms. Above the bel etqge, 
either a large open loft, or a belvedere pierced with 
windows on all sides and communicating with the 
terrace. The apartments reserved for the children, 
and for relations of the sovereign, were in separate 
buildings offering similar accommodation. 

The roof was invariably ornamented with carved 
wood-work and with gay colours. The distinctive 
colour for the windows of the Terem was red. 
Further ornamentation consisted in shaping the roof 
conical, making it arched or in superposing cones on 
two arches ; these were furnished with small grills 
and covered with shingles. 

Each house had its private chapel, so the agglomera- 
tion of connected buildings that constituted a palace 
in the Kremlin in old days contained many ^chapels, 
and they now number more than a dozen. Apart 
from these private chapels within the palace, the 
Princes used the churches for the safer keeping of 
their treasure. 

Ivan III. used the Church of St Lazarus now in 
the palace for his treasury ; his wife, the Church of 
St John the Baptist, near the Borovitski Gate. To 
steal from the church was sacrilege, to take from the 
house of even the Tsar, simply robbery. The churches 
were used as treasuries also by the nobles, and doubt- 
less much of the church-plate throughout Russia was 
originally deposited for safe keeping, whilst the owners 


The Story of Moscow 

went against Tartars or Livonians. All the churches 
were rich, and all, time after time, were spoiled by 
invaders ; thus hiding-places were made in or near 
all the old churches. 

Near the residence of the ruler were the very 
similar dwellings of the minor princes. In the days 
of Vasili III., of Grand Dukes even, for, as Moscow 
conquered other principalities, their former rulers were 
brought to the Kremlin and lived under the sur- 
veillance of the " Grand Prince of all the Russias," 
rendering him such military service as he demanded. 
In time these nobles became an element of danger, 
intriguing for the succession and quarrelling among 
themselves for precedence. Vasili III. was the first 
ruler to treat them harshly and he spared none, not 
even his own near relatives if he thought they aspired 
to the succession. To render them less dangerous 
they were not employed as war-leaders, men of lower 
rank, the drujni of the Tsar and other princes being 
entrusted with command in the field and acting also 
as governors of provinces. Burned down time after 
time and usually put up again in wood, Moscow, with 
all its conflagrations, was nearly three centuries before 
it contained a dwelling-house of brick or stone, and 
more than two before enclosed with a wall. The 
reason being that stones of any kind were scarce in 
the neighbourhood of Moscow, whilst wood was 

With a palace in the Kremlin the rulers soon set 
to work to have palaces elsewhere. The one at the 
Sparrow Hills seems to have been most often resorted 
to in the early days, but with the advent to Russia 
of Sophia Paleologus and the introduction of western 
customs, not only was the single palace found in- 
adequate, but Ivan's successors all built dwellings 
in the forest or in villages near Moscow where they 

Moscow of the Princes 

could go for sport, or when driven from town by 
fire, pestilence or revolt. 

The most pressing need of the rulers of Moscow 
when they entered into relations with the west was a 
hall for entertaining visitors. It was for this purpose 
that the Granovitaia (chequered) Palace was constructed 
by the Italian workmen Ivan induced to work in 
Moscow for the then high wages of ten roubles a month. 
It was at this period that the Tsars began to evolve a 
special court etiquette. Previously anyone who could 
force his way through the throng by whom the princes 
were surrounded might speak with them. From the 
first the court etiquette, though not elaborate, was 
firmly insisted upon. Those who came to the palace 
had to dismount at some distance from the grand 
entrance, and approach it on foot. This accounts for 
the joy of Bowes, the English envoy, who rode right 
up to the grand entrance before dismounting. Those 
officers sent to meet foreign envoys had orders not to 
be the first to dismount ; if the envoy knew the etiquette 
the parties on meeting would sit for hours facing each 
other, then agree to dismount simultaneously. Herber- 
stein held back after throwing his feet out of the stirrups, 
so was last to touch earth, and he counts this a gain to 
his master. Common people and lower nobles were 
not allowed to pass the Tsar's residence covered, and 
" must uncover as soon as it is within view." 

" The city is built of wood and tolerably large, and at a 
distance appears larger than it really is, for the gardens and 
spacious courtyards in every house make a great addition to 
the size of the town, which is again greatly increased by the 
houses of the smiths and other artificers who use fires. These 
houses extend in a long row at the end of the city, interspersed 
with fields and meadows. Moreover not far from the city are 
some small houses, and the other side of the river some villas 
where, a few years ago, the Tsar built a new city for his 
courtiers, who had the privilege of the Tsar to drink at all 


The Story of Moscow 

seasons, which was forbidden to most, who were free to drink 
only at Eastertide and Christmas. For that reason the Nali, 
or drinkers, separated themselves from intercourse with the 
rest of the inhabitants to avoid corrupting them by their mode 
of living. Not far from the city are some monasteries, which 
of themselves appear like a great city to persons viewing them 
from a distance." Berber stein. 

In addition to the gilded domes of its cathedrals, and 
the bright red roofs of its palaces, during the reign of 
Vasili III. Moscow commenced to accumulate other 
ornamental work quite as wondrous to the pilgrims from 
other Russian towns. Aleviso of Florence is unusually 
credited with the work upon the doors and lintels of 
the old churches within the palace, the porches of the 
Vossnesenski, Blagovieshchenski, and other Cathedrals 
within the Kremlin. The gilded and embossed metal 
work of the doors, the carved and bright-coloured 
columns and lintels, impressed visitors with the wealth 
of Moscow since the precious metals were so lavishly 
employed for merely decorative purposes. There are 
not many specimens of the work of this period still in 
existence, such as remain are now for the most part 
preserved within the palace instead of being, as formerly, 
exposed to the weather ; but practically the whole of 
the wooden Moscow of the Princes was destroyed by 
fires during the reign of Ivan IV. 





Ivan the Terrible 

u A right Scythian, full of readie wisdom, cruell, bloudye, 
mercilesse. " Honey . 

XAOST conspicuous of all the monuments of the 
past Moscow contains, is the great weird building 
familiarly known as the church of Vasili Blajenni ; as 
monstrous and impressive is the era that produced it. 
The half century during which Ivan the Terrible 
reigned over Muscovy is a unique period in the history 
of Russia. And not that of Russia only, for in no 
country at any time have so many and diverse outrages 
been perpetrated at one man's command. Disasters 
resulting from human ambition and folly sully the 
history of every land, but all histories are spotless in 
comparison with that of Moscow under its first Tsar 
a creature of unparalleled ferocity and inconceivable 

Ivan was the son of the crafty Vasili Ivanovich in 
his dotage ; of Helena Glinski, a ficry-natured Lithu- 
anian woman, passionate as a Spaniard, reckless as a 
Tartar. But if his parentage was unpromising his 
upbringing was worse. He and his mother had many 
enemies, the members of princely houses in vassalage 
in Moscow but with aspirations to the throne. These 
men, mostly relations of the Tsar, were insistent upon 
the rules of precedence, both for the gratification of 
their own vanity, and as of possible importance in the 


The Story of Moscow 

event of a Tsar dying without direct heir. For this 
reason all the Tsars were merciless towards their 
relatives on their father's side, and looked for help 
from the relations of their mother and wife, who had 
most to gain from the succession being maintained in a 
direct line. 

Helena, as regent, appears to have governed well. 
She did not marry again, thus the rights of Ivan and 
his brother Yuri were not endangered by her. Her 
lover, Kniaz Telepniev, for a time kept at bay the 
rival factions of the more powerful nobles, and possibly 
was instrumental in thwarting the plots of the Glinski. 
At Helena's command two of her relatives were exe- 
cuted for conspiring against the infant Tsar. She 
enclosed the Kitai Gorod with a wall of stone ; im- 
proved the defences of Moscow in other ways, gave 
the people a new coinage, founded monasteries, built 
churches, and continued the policy of the rulers of 
Moscow. Five years after her husband's death she died 
suddenly, of poison it is said, and the rumour may be 

In 1538, Ivan, then in his eighth year, and his 
brother Yuri, his junior by eighteen months, were left 
to the mercies of the most powerful factions about the 
court. They were neglected ; Ivan himself said of 
this period, " we two were treated as strangers : even 
as the children of beggars are served. We were ill 
clothed, cold, and often went hungry." 

Jealous of each other the courtiers would not allow 
the princes to attach themselves to anyone. If Ivan 
felt drawn to anyone, or any person took notice of him, 
all the others combined to separate the two. 

The Shooiskis were then the most powerful family, 
and Shooiski treated Ivan with scant consideration. 
His tutors encouraged him to ride at full speed through 
the streets and try to knock down the old and feeble ; 


Ivan the 'Terrible 

they allowed him to have 'animals tortured for his 
diversion, and laughed with him at their plight when 
flung from the roof of the palace. Ivan learned to 
read, and spelled through all the books he could 
obtain. From these old chronicles, from those of 
the Kings of Israel, to the doings of his own ancestors 
he seems to have obtained the idea of the powers of 
sovereignty. A close observer he noticed that although 
ordinarily he was treated as of little account, when any 
act of state had to be done he was always summoned 
to give the command. Young as he was, Ivan knew 
his importance. One day, when he was thirteen years 
old, he went out sporting with Gluiski, and GJuiski 
incited him to repress the arrogance of Shooiski. Ivan 
did it by having Shooiski pulled out into the street and 
worried to death there and then by Gluiski's hounds. 

From that time Ivan treated all with cruelty. In 
his eighteenth year he arrogated to himself the title of 
Tsar the name by which all great rulers were desig- 
nated in the old Slavonic books he had read. In the 
same year, 1 547, he married Anastasia Romanof, and 
in that year the inhabitants of Moscow, tired of his 
cruelties, repeatedly fired the town. In April the 
merchants' stores were fired, probably by robbers intent 
upon gain ; the fire spread, destroying the stores of the 
Tsar, the monastery of the Epiphany, and most of the 
houses in the Kitai Gorod. On the 2Oth of the 
same month the streets of the artisans along the Yauza 
suffered, and on the 2ist June, during a high wind, 
a fire started on the far side of the Neglinnaia, in the 
Arbat, and this spread to the Kremlin and destroyed 
there the whole of the wooden buildings. The in- 
habitants could save nothing, and the night was made 
more hideous by frequent explosions as the fire reached 
one powder magazine and another. The palaces, the 
tribunals, the treasuries, armouries, warehouses, all were 
D 49 

The Story of Moscow 

destroyed. All books, deeds, pictures and ikons were 
lost, with few exceptions. The metropolitan, the aged 
Macarius, was praying in the cathedral and refused to 
leave ; he was forcibly removed, placed in a basket 
and lowered from the Kremlin wall near the Tainitski 
gate ; the rope broke, he fell to the ground, and was 
taken more dead than alive to the Novo Spasski 
Monastery. There was not time to remove the Holy 
ikons. The fire after destroying the roof of the 
cathedral burnt out, and the celebrated ikon of the 
Virgin of Vladimir was saved. 

The ruins smouldered for a week. Seventeen 
hundred perished in the flames. The Tsar withdrew 
to the Sparrow Hills so as not to see the distress of 
the people. The survivors, their beards burnt, their 
faces blackened, fought among the embers for the 
vestiges of what had been theirs. Church and court 
alike forsook the spot. 

An earnest priest, Sylvester, forced himself upon the 
terrified Tsar, upbraided him for his excesses, and 
exhorted him to lead a better life. Ivan, always an 
arrant coward, now completely unnerved, at once came 
under the influence of the priest. He took as his 
counsellor one Adashef, a man of good repute and 
some wisdom. For thirteen years he and Sylvester 
administered the law and dictated the policy of the 
country. In Anastasia they had an able assistant and 
firm friend. Their first act was directed towards 
limiting the power of the Tsar; at their behest he 
called together an assembly of the people to advise 
him. They compiled a code of laws, the Sudebnik, 
and the Stoglaf, this last the decrees of the council 
(Zemstvo) held at Moscow in 1551, and shortly 
afterwards Sylvester issued his " Domostroi " house- 
hold law, teaching how to live as Godfearing men and 
prove good husbandmen. The Tsar, earnest in his 


Ivan the Terrible 

new role, paid great attention to his spiritual advisers. 
When twenty-one he exhorted them to " Thunder 
in mine ears the voice of God that my soul may 

In 1552 he was persuaded to lead an expedition 
against the Tartars of Kazan. The army was strong 
and well equipped. With wonderful foresight, a 
neighbouring town had been well stocked with pro- 
visions and was used as a base for the besiegers. 
After a stubborn resistance Ivan's army of 150,000 
took the town, and slaughtered the defenders. On 
this occasion Ivan is said to have displayed consider- 
able courage, and when he saw the bodies of the 
slain Tartars, to have regretted their death, saying, 
*' for though of another faith they are human beings 
even as ourselves." 

Too soon he returned to Moscow, and the newly- 
conquered province rebelled. Ivan then was very 
ill, " a fever so great all thought him at the point 
of death." Ivan thought his last hour was at hand 
and summoned the nobles to take the oath of fealty 
to his son Dmitri, whom he nominated his successor. 
Some refused, others hesitated : Zakharin- Yurief alone, 
was earnest and ready in his allegiance. He was a 
near kinsman of the Tsarina and so, more than any, 
was interested in the welfare of Dmitri. Others 
intrigued for the succession. The Tsar lying helpless 
on his couch heard the boyards and counsellors dis- 
cussing their plans in the adjoining apartment. Even 
Sylvester and his trusted counsellor Alexis Adashef, 
favoured the succession of Vladimir, Ivan's cousin. 

Ivan recovered, but for a time he acted as though 
he had forgotten what he overheard on his sick bed. 
He never forgave. His wife, Anastasia, also with- 
drew her friendship from those who had opposed her 
son's succession. 

'The Story of Moscow 

Then Ivan made a visit to the monastery at Bielo 
Ozersk the White Lake and there he saw the 
aged Vassian, the old counsellor of his father, who 
gave him advice contrary to that so earnestly and 
frequently dinned into his ears by Sylvester and 
Adashef. " If you wish to become absolute mon- 
arch," said Vassian, " seek no counsellor wiser than 
yourself. Never take advice from any : instead, give 
it. Command, never obey. Then will you become 
a sovereign in all truth." 

This advice pleased Ivan. " My father himself," 
he answered, "could not have given wiser counsel." 

Ivan could wait for his triumph over his associates. 
He went now to the Volga again, completed the 
conquest of Kazan, and his troops pressed on as far 
as Astrakhan, which they took after slight resistance. 

In Moscow Ivan kept the grand-dukes, princes, 
and boyards his nearest relatives ; his voievodes, or 
military leaders, were men of good birth, but with no 
claim on the succession. Under the administration 
of Adashef, the outlying parts of the Tsar's dominions 
were so effectually governed that when the English 
ships first appeared on the White Sea, Chancellor was 
not allowed to trade, or penetrate into the interior 
of the country, until the permission of the Tsar had 
been received from Moscow. 

In 1 560 Anastasia died, and Ivan fretted under the 
constant surveillance of Sylvester. He was always at 
hand, entreating the Tsar to shew mercy, and to live 
straightly. Both Sylvester and Adashef retired within 
a short time of Anastasia's death. For bad general- 
ship in Lithuania, Adashef was imprisoned in the 
fortress of Dorpat, where he died shortly afterwards. 
Sylvester was ready enough to send the Tsar and his 
Russian armies to war against the Tartars and infidels ; 
he opposed wars with Livonia, Lithuania and Poland, 


Ivan the terrible 

where Ivan was particularly desirous of extending his 

On the withdrawal of these counsellors again com- 
menced the murders and massacres in which Ivan de- 
lighted. Historians divide these into seven cycles ; 
it is a purely arbitrary division with the exception 
of the thirteen years 1547-1560, during which he 
was wedded to Anastasia and engaged in foreign wars, 
the whole of his long reign was given to terrorising 
his subjects. 

Obolenski was the first noble killed by Ivan him- 
self; Repnin was murdered whilst at his devotions 
in church ; another was slain simply because he re- 
monstrated with the Tsar for such a display of cruelty. 
Ivan always used the hour of victory to exterminate 
foes, and he now relentlessly hunted down all his 
past advisers and their friends. 

He was determined on absolute supremacy. 

" To shew his soveraintie over the lives of his subjects, Ivan 
in his walks, if he disliked the face or person of any man he 
met by the way, or that looked at him, would command his 
head to be struck off. There and then the thing was done, 
and the head cast before him." 

Dismajed, some of his nobles fled to the west ; 
among them was Kniaz Kourbski, who, not content 
simply to take service under Sigismund, acquainted 
the Tsar by letter with the fact. Kniaz Vasili 
Chibanov was the bearer. Ivan received him on the 
Krasnce Kriltso, and there, with his sharp staff, pinned 
to the floor the foot of Chibanov, who never stirred a 
muscle during the whole time the long letter was read 
aloud. Then Chibanov was put to the torture, to 
obtain particulars of the flight of Kourbski, and the 
names of his partisans in Moscow ; but Chibanov con- 
fessed not a word, and in the midst of the most horrible 


The Story of Moscow 

torment praised his master, and counted it a joy to 
suffer thus for him. 

Generally Ivan studied to keep on good terms with 
the common people whom he feared; by them he 
was worshipped. Macarius, the metropolitan, com- 
plained that " He who blasphemes his maker, meets 
with forgiveness amongst men, he who reviles the 
Tsar is sure to lose his head." Ivan chose as his 
companions the worst people whom he could find. At 
one time he withdrew from Moscow, taking umbrage 
at the prelates, still too powerful to be touched. The 
people clamoured for his return. 

"The Tsar has forsaken us: we are lost, who will now 
defend us against the enemy? What are sheep without the 
shepherd ? Let him punish all who deserve it : has he not 
the power over life and death ? The state cannot endure 
without its head, and we will not acknowledge any other 
than he whom God has given us." 

This was gratifying to Ivan. He consented to 
govern again if the Church would not exercise its 
prerogative of mercy, and would leave him to do his 
will. His return was followed by murders and out- 
rages worse than before. Randolph, who in 1568, 
was in Muscovy on an embassy from England, with 
which country Ivan wished to be on the best of terms, 
was not allowed to enter Moscow, because, Count 
Yuri Tolstoi thinks, Ivan wished to keep from him 
the knowledge of these massacres. Randolph wrote 
to Cecil : 

" Of the Tsar's condition I have learned that of late he hath 
beheaded no small number of his nobility, causing their heads 
to be laid on the streets, to see who durst behold them or 
lament their deaths. The Chancellor he caused to be executed 
openly, leaving neither wife, children, nor brother alive. 
Divers others have been cut to pieces by his command." 

During the third cycle of Ivan's outrages, Philip, 

Ivan the Terrible 

the metropolitan, in 1 568, dared to upbraid the Tsar. 
Ivan with a crowd of his irreligious followers, disguised 
in the cloaks they wore when sallying forth to rapine 
and outrage, repaired to the Uspenski Sober for a 
blessing before starting on their fearful work. The 
metropolitan refused to recognise Ivan so clad when 
called upon for his benediction. 

" What is the thing thou hast done then, O Tsar, that thou 
shouldst put off from thee the form of thine honour? Fear 
the judgment of God, to whom we are here making a pure 
sacrifice. Behind the altar the innocent blood of Christian 
men is made to flow by thee! Among pagans, in the country 
of the infidel, are laws, and justice, and compassion 'shown to 
men, but in Russia now is nothing of this kind. The lives 
and goods of citizens are without defence. Everywhere 
pillage, on all sides murder, and each and all these crimes are 
committed in the name of the Tsar. There is a judge on 
high how shall you present yourself before that Tribunal? 
Dare you appear there covered with the blood of innocents, deaf 
to their cries of pain ? Even the very stones beneath your feet 
cry aloud to heaven for vengeance on such black deeds as are 
done here. O Prince, I speak to thee as the shepherd, fearing 
none but the Lord our God." 

Ivan enraged, stuck his staff into the ground, and 
swore to be as bad as Philip described him. Vasili 
Pronski was the first to suffer in the murders that 
followed closely upon this scene, but Ivan did not 
forget Philip. One of the soldiers was ordered to 
present himself before the metropolitan and wear the 
Tartar skull cap ; the metropolitan noticed this 
irreverence, and turned to the leader for a command 
that the man should uncover. In the meantime the 
man did so, and Philip was accused of lying. The 
boyard, Alexis Basmanov, with a troop of armed men 
and having the Tsar's jkrt in his hand, arrested Philip 
whilst officiating at High Mass in the Uspenski Sobor, 
and read out that by the decree of the clergy, Philip 
was deposed from his high office. The people were 


The Story of Moscow 

surprised and stupefied. The soldiers seized Philip, 
tore his vestments from him, and chased him from the 
church with besoms. He was first taken to the monas- 
tery of the Epiphany, next to an obscure prison where 
he was loaded with irons. Whilst there, the head of 
his well-beloved nephew, Ivan Borisovich, was thrown 
to him. A crowd gathered near the prisoner's cell, and 
the people spake with each other of his goodness. It 
frightened Ivan, and he had Philip removed to the 
monastery at Tver, where he was subsequently strangled 
by Skutarov on the Tsar's journey through the town 
on the way to Novgorod. 

As a condition for his consent to reside in Moscow, 
Ivan stipulated for a bodyguard of his own choosing. 
These men, the opritchniki, that is, ** picked " fellows, 
became the terror of Moscow. Selected for their 
readiness to obey, their bodily strength and lack of 
morals, they recognised no master but Ivan, and by 
him were privileged to rob and slay the people as 
they wished, providing they were at hand to kill 
anyone in particular whom he might want out of the 
way. They carried bludgeons with heads carved to 
represent those of dogs, at the saddle bow, and a 
small besom at the other end, the " speaking symbols " 
of their intention to hunt down rebels and sweep 
Russia clean. 

By their callousness and brutality they, on many 
occasions, distinguished themselves in a manner that 
gladdened Ivan, but at no time did their excesses excel 
their performance on the march to Novgorod. Ivan, 
very suspicious of treason, doubted the fidelity of 
Novgorod, a town with known predilections for 
freedom, and inclined to favour the more enlightened 
rule of the western kings than the Russian autocrat. 
A hired traitor placed a forged letter behind an image 
in Novgorod Church, and disclosed the plot to Ivan, 


Ivan the Terrible 

whose agents found the compromising letter, which 
contained overtures to the Lithuanians ; Ivan started 
to subdue the town. The 6'pritchniks preceded him. 
Klin, a thriving town near Moscow, was sacked ; the 
inhabitants of Tver were spoiled, and many murdered. 
On their way the advance guard killed all whom they 
met, lest any should know where the Tsar was. 
Villages and towns were annihilated. Monks had to 
find twenty roubles each as ransom ; those who could 
not were thrashed from morning until night, then, 
when Ivan arrived on the scene, were flogged to death. 
On his arrival at Novgorod he was entertained by 
the people ; during the banquet served to him and his 
followers he gave a loud cry the signal for his fellows 
to begin the slaughter. The Tsar and his son went 
to an enclosure specially reserved for the torture of 
their victims, and with their lances prodded those who 
were not quickly enough dragged to the place of 
torment. Chroniclers say that from 500 to 1000 were 
slain in cold blood before him each day of his stay. 
Some were burned, some racked to death, others 
drowned in the Volkhof, run in on sledges or thrown 
in from the bridge soldiers in boats spearing those 
who swam. Infants were empaled before the eyes of 
their mothers, husbands butchered along with their 
wives. Novgorod, at that time larger and of greater 
commercial importance than Moscow, was so injured 
that she has never since acquired the rank of even a 
third-rate town. On leaving it, Ivan called together a 
few starving survivors, and commanded them to obey 
the laws and fear him. He went on to Pskov, where 
the town was saved by the boldness of a half-witted 
hermit, who offered Ivan raw meat on a fast-day, and 
threatened him that he would be struck by lightning if 
any citizen of Pskov was injured whilst Ivan remained 
in the town. An accident to his horse seemed to Ivan 


The Story of Moscow 

an earnest of the " Holy-man's " power, and he left 
the town precipitately. 

According to Horsey, Ivan at this time had a 
Tartar army with him, and tried to reduce other towns 
in Livonia. At Reval, men and women carried water 
by night to repair the breaches in the walls made by 
his cannon during the day, and Ivan, losing six thousand 
men, in the end had to retreat in shame. Losing 
more men before Narva, he put in execution 
there " the most bloody and cruellest massacre 
that ever was heard of in any age," giving the 
spoil of the town to his Tartars. Following 
the custom of his country, the 
prisoners of war were all 
brought as slaves to Moscow, 
many dying on the way, some, 
including Scotch and English 
soldiers of fortune in the pay of 
!';{ the Swedes, thrown into prison in 
Moscow and there subsequently 
tortured and executed. 

These excursions of Ivan and 
his men into distant parts of his 
dominions afforded the Muscovites 
some respite from his attentions. The English then 
there were much impressed by the cruelties of Ivan, 
though themselves escaping. Jerom Horsey thus de- 
scribes Ivan's invasion of Novgorod : 

" O the lamentable outcries and cruel slaughters ! The 
drownings and burnings, the ravishing of women and maids, 
stripping them naked without mercy or regard of the frozen 
weather, tying and binding them by three and four together 
at their horses' tails: dragging them, some alive, some dead, 
all bloodying the ways and streets, lying full of carcases of 
the aged men, women and infants ! Thus were infinite 
numbers of the fairest people in the world dragged into 



Ivan the Terrible 

With the spoil brought from Novgorod was the 
" Great Bell of Novgorod " which had so often 
called its burghers to assemble for the defence of the 
town. Ivan was determined that the tocsin should 
never again be heard over the fallen city. The bell 
he caused to be hanged in the turret on the Kremlin 
wall near the Spasski Gate, where for long it was used 
as the alarm bell of Moscow, but subsequently served as 
metal when the great bell in Ivan Veliki was recast. 

Shortly after his return from Novgorod he entered 
upon his fourth cycle of massacres. The prisoners 
were executed in batches before the Spasski Gate. 
Horsey was instrumental in getting the lives of many 
spared, and they were settled in a suburb of Moscow 
where they lived at peace with the citizens but were 
still subject to attacks from the opritchniks. Ivan found 
other traitors among the boyards and princes, for his 
favourites of to-day were the victims of the morrow. 

" On July 25, in the middle of the market-place, eighteen 
scaffolds were erected, a number of instruments of torture 
were fixed in position, a large stack of wood was lighted, 
and over it an enormous cauldron of water was placed. 
Seeing these terrible preparations, the people hurried away 
and hid themselves wherever they could, abandoning their 
opened shops, their goods and their money. Soon the place 
was void but for the band of opritchniks gathered round 
the gibbets, and the blazing fire. Then was heard the 
sound of drums : the Tsar appeared on horseback, accom- 
panied by his dutiful son, the boyards, some princes, and 
quite a legion of hangmen. Behind these came some hun- 
dreds of the condemned, many like spectres; others torn, 
bleeding, and so feeble they scarce could walk. Ivan halted 
near the scaffolds and looked around, then at once com- 
manded the opritchniks to find where the people were and 
drag them into the light of day. In his impatience he even 
himself ran about here and there, calling the Muscovites to 
come forward and see the spectacle he had prepared for 
them, promising all who came safety and pardon. The 
inhabitants, fearing to disobey, crept out of their hiding- 


The Story of Moscow 

places, and, trembling with fright, stood round the scaffold. 
Some having climbed on to the walls, and even showing them- 
selves on the roofs, Ivan shouted : ' People, ye are about to 
witness executions and a massacre, but these are traitors 
whom I thus punish. Answer me: Is this just?' And 
on all sides the people shouted approval. ' Long live our 
glorious King ! Down with traitors ! Goiesi, Goida ! ' 

" Ivan separated 180 of the prisoners from the crowd and 
pardoned them. Then the first Clerk of the Council un- 
rolled a scroll and called upon the condemned to answer. 
The first to be brought before him was Viskovati, and to 
him he read out : ' Ivan Mikhailovich, formerly a Coun- 
sellor of State, thou hast been found faithless to his Imperial 
Highness. Thou hast written to the King Sigismund offer- 
ing him Novgorod: there thy first crime! ' He paused to 
strike "Viskovati on the head, then continued reading : 
1 And this thy second crime, not less heinous than thy first, 
O ungrateful and perfidious one ! Thou hast written to the 
Sultan of Turkey, that he may take Astrakhan and Kazan,' 
whereupon he struck the condemned wretch twice, and 
continued : ' Also thou hast called upon the Khan of the 
Krim Tartars to enter and devastate Russia : this thy third 
crime.' Viskovati called God to witness that he was inno- 
cent, that he had always served faithfully his Tsar and his 
country : ' My earthly judges will not recognise the truth ; 
but the Heavenly Judge knows my innocence ! Thou also, 
O Prince, thou wilt recognise it before that tribunal on 
high ! ' Here the executioners interrupted, gagging him. 
He was then suspended, head downwards, his clothes torn 
off, and, Maluta Skutarov, the first to dismount from his 
horse and lead the attack, cut off an ear, then, little by 
little, his body was hacked to pieces. 

"The next victim was the treasurer, Funikov-Kartsef, a 
friend of Viskovati, accused with him of the same treason, 
and as unjustly. He in his turn said to Ivan, ' I pray God 
will give thee in eternity a fitting reward for thy actions 
here 1 ' He was drenched with boiling and cold water 
alternately, until he expired after enduring the most horrible 
torments. Then others were hanged, strangled, tortured, 
cut to pieces, killed slowly, quickly, by whatever means 
fancy suggested. Ivan himself took a part, stabbing and 
slaying without dismounting from his horse. In four hours 
two hundred had been put to death, and then, the carnage 
over, the hangmen, their clothes covered with blood, and 
their gory, steaming knives in their hands, surrounded the 

Ivan the Terrible 

Tsar and shouted huzzah. ' Goida ! Goida ! Long live the 
Tsar! Ivan for ever! Goida! Goida!' And so shouting 
they went round the market-place that Ivan might examine 
the mutilated remains, the piled-up corpses, the actual evi- 
dences of the slaughter. Enough of bloodshed for the one 
day? Not a bit of it. Ivan, satiated for the moment with 
the slaughter, would gloat over the grief of the survivors. 
Wishing to see the unhappy wives of Funikov-Kartsef and 
of Viskovati, he forced a way into their apartments and 
made merry over their grief! The wife of Funikov-Kartsef 
he put to the torture, that he might have from her whatever 
treasures she possessed. Equally he wished to torture her 
fifteen -year-old daughter, who was groaning and lamenting 
at their ill fortune, but contented himself with handing her 
over to the by no means tender mercies of the Tsarevich 
Ivan. Taken afterwards to a convent, these unhappy beings 
shortly died of grief it is said." Karamzin. 

Sometimes Ivan's vagaries were less gruesome, pos- 
sessing even a comic aspect : 

One day he requisitioned of his secretary 200,000 men at 
arms by such a day and signed the order" Johnny of Moscow." 
He carried a staff with a very sharp spike in the end, which, 
in discourse he would strike through his boyard's feet, and if 
they could bear it without flinching, he would favour them. 
He once sent to Vologda for a pot of fleas and because the 
town could not send the measure full, he fined the inhabitants 
7000 roubles. 

" He once went in disguise into a village and sought 
shelter. The only man who would offer it was the 
one worst off, and at the time sore beset. Ivan pro- 
mised to return, and did so with a great company and 
many presents, acting also as godson to the man's child, 
whose birth he had witnessed. Then his followers 
burned all the other dwellings in the village to teach 
the owners charity and try how good it was to lie out 
of doors in winter." 

" When Ivan went on his tours he was met by the 
householders and presented with the best they had. A 
poor shoemaker knowing not what to give, except a 
pair of sandals, was reminded that a large turnip in his 


The Story of Moscow 

garden was a rarity, and so presented that to Ivan, who 
took the present so kindly that he commanded a 
hundred of his followers to buy sandals of the man at 
a crown a pair. A bo yard seeing him so well paid, 
made account by the rule of proportion to get a much 
greater reward by presenting Ivan with a fine horse, 
but Ivan, suspecting his intention, rewarded him with 
the turnip the bootmaker had given." 

On a certain festival he played mad pranks, which caused 
some Dutch and English women to laugh, and he, noticing 
this, sent all to the palace, where he had them stripped stark 
naked before him in a great room and then he commanded 
four or five bushels of pease to be thrown on the floor and 
made them pick all up one by one, and, when they had done, 
gave them wine and bade them heed how they laughed before 
an emperor again. He sent for a nobleman of Kasan, who 
was called Plethcare, which is " Bald," and the Vayvod mistak- 
ing the word, thought he sent for a hundred bald pates and 
therefore got together as many as he could, about eighty or 
ninety, and sent them up speedily with an excuse that he 
could find no more in his province and asking pardon. The 
em'peror seeing so many, crossed himself, and finding out how 
the mistake occurred, made the baldpates drunk for three days 
then sent them home again. Collins. 

" He it was who nailed a French ambassador's hat 
to his head. Sir Jeremy Bowes, the English am- 
bassador, soon after came before Ivan, put on his hat, 
and cocked it before him, at which Ivan sternly 
demanded how he durst do so, having heard how he 
chastised the French ambassador. Sir Jeremy answered, 

* I am the ambassador of the invincible Queen of 
England, who does not veil her bonnet, nor bare her 
head to any prince living. If any of her ministers 
shall receive any affront abroad, she is able to avenge 
her own quarrel.' 

" Look you at that ! ' cried Ivan to his boyards, 

* Which of you would do so much for me, your master ? ' ' 

He was probably not acting nor scoffing when he 

Ivan the Terrible 

acted the part of abbot, and made his companions 
friars of the house at Alexandrovskt to which he 
retreated for upwards of a year at a time when he 
mistrusted the people of Moscow and feared for his 
life and his throne. Ivan regularly summoned to mass 
this strange company, all clad like brothers of a 
monastery, and himself officiated. His prostrations 
were no sham, for his forehead bore the marks of its 
severe knockings on the floor, but in the middle of a 
mass he would pause to give some order for the murder 
of his victims, or the pillage of the rich. The mornings 
were spent in religious exercise the rest of the day 
and much of the night in the foulest orgies and the 
perpetration of fearful outrages in the dungeons and 
torture chambers of his residence. 

At all times the boyards durst do nothing without 
him, and waited upon him duteously wherever he might 
go. His voievodes kept the newly-conquered provinces 
in subjection ; others carried the war into the country 
of his enemies and brought fresh lands under his 
dominion. Yermak, an outlaw, conquered Siberia and 
made of it a gift to the Tsar. Anthony Jenkinson, on 
behalf of the English Russia Company, conveyed their 
goods from Archangel to Astrakhan ; there fitted out a 
fleet for trading on the shores of the Caspian, and made 
a successful war on the Shah of Persia. 

In 1571 Ivan's voievodes failed him. They were 
unable, or unwilling, to oppose the Tartar horde and it 
reached Moscow. There the enemy pillaged and burnt 
the town, destroying the stores, houses and buildings 
outside the Kremlin. The town suffered worse than 
in the great conflagrations of 1 547, but the Tartars, 
satisfied with the spoil, withdrew. They subsequently 
sent envoys to Ivan and these were at once imprisoned. 
Kept in dark rooms, ill-treated, almost starved, 
they endured ; made light of the hardships ; scorned 


The Story of Moscow 

their guardians. At last an audience was granted 

"The Ambassador enters Ivan's presence ; his followers kept 
back in a space with grates of iron between the Emperor and 
them ; at which the ambassador chafes with a hellish, hollow 
voice, looking fierce and grimly. Four captains of the guard 
bring him near the Emperor's seat. Himself, a most ugly 
creature, without reverence, thunders out, says, His master 
and lord, Devlet Geray, great Emperor of all the Kingdoms 
and Kams the sun did spread his beams over, sent to him Ivan 
Vasilievich, his vassal, and Grand Duke over Russia by his 
permission, to know how he did like the scourge of his dis- 
pleasure by sword, fire and famine ? Had sent him for remedy 
(pulling out a foul, rusty knife) to cut his throat withal." 
They hasted him forth from the room, and would have taken 
off his gown and cap, but he and his company strove with 
them so stoutly. The Emperor fell into such an agony ; sent 
for his ghostly father ; tore his own hair and beard for madness ! 
Then sent away the ambassador with this message, " Tell the 
miscreant and unbeliever, thy master, it is not he, it is for my 
sins, and the sins of my people against my God and Christ. 
He it is that hath given him, a limb of Satan, the power and 
opportunity to be the instrument of my rebuke, by whose 
pleasure and grace I doubt not of revenge, and to make him 
my vassal ere long be." The Tartar answered, " He would 
not do him so much service as to do any such message for 
him." Horsey. 

Ivan had to send his own emissaries to the Tartars 
and the Khan kept them imprisoned seven years, and 
in other ways showed his contempt for the ruler of 
Moscow. But for Ivan's newly-found friends the 
English, his enemies in east and west would have 
conquered him. The English, much to the disgust of 
Swedes and Poles, supplied Ivan with artillery and 
small arms ; improved engines of war, much gunpowder, 
and showed his men how to use them Russians are 
not slow to learn. 

In 1548 Ivan sent John Schlitte to Germany to 
enlist foreign artisans for his service. Attracted by 
the high remuneration offered, a hundred were willing 


Ivan the Terrible 

to accompany Schlitte back to Moscow, but the Govern- 
ments, anticipating danger to their territory if the Russ 
became enlightened, refused permission. Only a few 
determined stragglers reached Russian territory. The 
first printers in Russia were encouraged for a time, then, 
for their own safety, had hurriedly to seek exile. 

For Moscow Ivan did little : twice during his reign 
the town was destroyed by fire. After the first he 
built himself a new palace of wood within the Kremlin ; 
later he had another constructed outside, between the 
Nikitskaia and the Arbat. For a long time he lived 
in neither, preferring a wretched dwelling in a far off 
village, whence he believed he could, at need, escape 
unobserved to England if any of his subjects took up 
arms against him. 

The monument of his reign is the church in the 
Grand Place. Dedicated to the " Intercession of the 
Holy Virgin," it was built at Ivan's command, and at 
the expense of Kazan, to commemorate the conquest of 
that town, which fell on the first of October 1552. 
Commenced in 1553, it was completed six years later 
and consecrated by the Metropolitan Macarius on the 
day of its patron saint. 

The name of its architect is unknown. Tradition 
asserts that Ivan, to make sure that this church should 
be " the crowning effort of his wonderful genius," put 
out his eyes. There is no evidence in support of this 
story, and it is unlikely that Ivan would have done a 
thing so usual. 

Many writers have asserted that this fantastic edifice 
is a mixture of the Gothic, Moorish, Indian, Byzantine 
and other styles of architecture. As a matter of fact 
it is but an exaggeration of the Russian style, an 
agglomeration of domes, towers and spires, one or 
other of which may be found on many buildings in 
" wooden Russia." In the chapter on " Ecclesiastical 

E 65 

Moscow " the reader will find further information on 
this point. It appears to embody the salient features of 
many styles, eastern and western, and the whole, if 
neither beautiful nor magnificent is strikingly imposing 
and original. Unlike other Russian churches the belfry 
instead of being at the west end, is at the east. Nine 
of its chapels are each surmounted by a lofty roof 
differing from the others. 

The central one, that dedicated to the Virgin, has a 
high tower and wonderful spire, the paintings on its 
internal converging sides adding to its extravagant pro- 
portions. The other eight chapels on this floor surround 
the spire and are covered with the usual arched vault 
supporting longer or shorter cylindrical towers, sur- 
mounted with cupolas of different forms and sizes. 
One, has apparently large facets ; another bristles like 
the back of a hedgehog ; a third bears closest resem- 
blance to a pine-apple, a fourth to a melon ; a fifth is 
in folds, another has spiral gonflements none are plain. 
A covered gallery extends from north to south, with 
roofed and spired stairways leading up to the church 
level, and a narrow passage and outside wall enclose 
the remaining chapels. The quaint belfry with its 
Russo-Gothic spire and bright roofing, being unlike 
aught else, is in keeping with the general design. Out- 
side, the central dome is brightly gilt, the others are 
painted in gaudy colours, and the whole of the exterior 
is decorated with crude patterns in strong contrast. 
Its design is bizarre ; its colour is motley ; the two 
both harmonise and contrast the whole fascinates. It 
is at once both a nightmare and a revelation. Like 
an impressionist's picture it rivets attention by apparent 
strength and seeming originality. It cannot be forgotten, 
yet it repels by its egregious fatuity. It is the oyer- 
inflated frog at the instant of explosion. It is not even 
known by its correct name : covering the remains of a 

Ivan the 'Terrible 

mendicant monk " idiotic for Christ's sake," its familiar 
appellation, " Blessed Willie," is derived from him. 


He it was who so often interposed his person between 
the Tsar and the objects of his wrath. He upbraided 


The Story of Moscow 

Ivan ; threatened him with all manner of disasters, but 
neither Ivan nor his opritchniks ever hurt the naked 
body of the old beggar. He used to address the Tsar 
familiarly, " Ivashka " (Bad Jacky) ; when the Tsar 
offered him money he let it fall to the floor, blew on 
his fingers, said the coins burned, and asked Ivan why 
he had his gold from hell. Then he would tell Ivan 
that on his forehead were already growing the horns of 
a goat that he was becoming a devil really then hold 
him up to the ridicule of the court and the people 
and Ivan, enraged, dared not strike him down himself 
or order anyone to do so. Now, the wonderful monu- 
ment of Ivan's time is called by the name of the man 
he feared ; it is he the orthodox remember ; it is his 
church ; they honour and revere him. Later another 
popular prophet, " Ivan the Idiot " was buried there by 
order of the Tsar Theodore : his chapel adjoins that of 
" Blessed Willie," below the level of the church itself 
at the east end. 

The church has not much history ; the Poles plun- 
dered it, Napoleon ordered his generals to "Destroy 
that Mosque " instead they quartered themselves there. 
It has been many times repaired ; was reconsecrated in 
1812 and remains, what it is, a striking memorial of a 
fearful era. 

As a place of worship it is now but little used. Its 
architecture is not of the kind to inspire lofty thoughts, 
or draw any nearer to God. Its associations are all 
unpleasant, reminiscent of the excesses of Ivan, the 
weaknesses of his immediate successors. Worse, it 
lacks sincerity : intuitively one knows that such a 
building cannot shelter truth or engender hope. To 
uncover at its portal seems a mockery ; to connect it 
with aught that is pure and Holy, a rank blasphemy. 

Glittering in bright sunlight, gay with colour, re- 
splendent with reflections from a glorious sky, it seems 

Ivan the Terrible 

only like a kaleidoscopic flash on a variegated canvas. 
To know Vasili Blajenni, the visitor should walk 
round it in the dusk of the evening, in the gloom of a 
winter's day, or, in summer, in that half-light of mid- 
night that there does duty for darkness. Standing in 
the shadow of the Kremlin wall, on soil saturated 
fathoms deep with the blood of innocent martyrs, 
examine the building closely and call to memory the 
people by whom and for whom it was produced. Then 
and then only may the conception of this fungus-like 
excrescence seem possible, and Vasili Blajenni stand 
revealed as an expression of inordinate vanity, un- 
controlled passion, insatiate lust. Like attributes with- 
out a soul weird, monstrous, horrible. No fitting 
memorial of any man, yet not out of character with 
what is known of him they called Ivan the Terrible. 

The clergy alone possessed any power besides the 
Tsar ; but the Church was unable to coerce him or to 
save the people. Obedience to those in power it had 
inculcated so long and thoroughly that the Russians 
never attempted reprisals or lifted a hand against the 
Tsar. Even a voievod, speaking to Ivan, had his 
ears sliced off there and then by the Tsar himself, and 
he not only bore it patiently, but thanked the Tsar for 
his attention. The people, debased, servile, frightened, 
could not help the Church and soon the clergy could 
not help themselves. Ivan, who was fond of the 
semblance of justice, after his expedition north appointed 
a baptized Tartar, one Simeon Bekbulatov, to be Tsar 
in his place, then himself abdicated. But he took 
care to make Simeon do as he wished, and he kept the 
power. The people obeyed Simeon, to a certain 
extent, but the Tsar's chief object in this was to 
legalise his seizure of ecclesiastical revenues. Simeon 
made certain agreements, but not having made those in 
force, which had been recognised by Ivan, he abrogated 


them. Then Ivan dismissed Simeon amidst the 
thanksgiving and rejoicing of his people, and with tears 
in his own eyes, the arch-hypocrite again took his 
seat on the throne. But the old agreements were no 
longer in force ; then Ivan declared null and void 
certain acts of Simeon, and so between the two, 
secured all the Church properties he wanted, and 
deprived the clergy of many privileges. Ivan was a 
great chess-player ; his strategy as Tsar shows how 
his knowledge of the game benefited him. 

Ivan put to death his cousin Vladimir for no crime ; 
his mother Euphrosyne, when living in seclusion in a 
convent, he dragged forth and drowned in the Cheksna. 
His own sister-in-law, the widow of his early playmate 
Yuri, was also killed for no other reason than in the 
seclusion of the convent she had shed tears over the 
victims of the despot's fury. 

The boyard Rostevski, after imprisonment, was 
marched naked in very cold weather until the Volga 
was reached. His guards said that there they must 
water their horses. " Ah," said Rostevski, " full 
well I know I have to drink of that water too," and 
straightway he went to his death. 

Seerkon had no other crime than that he was rich. 
A rope was placed round his waist and he was hauled 
from one side of a river to the other and back again 
until half-drowned, then placed in a bath of hot oil 
and torn to pieces. 

Ivan kept many bears, and delighted to turn them 
out when savage amongst helpless people. Another 
diversion was to clothe men in bear skins, then set 
trained dogs to tear them to pieces. He poured spirits 
over the heads of delegates, then set their beards on 
fire. On one occasion his men brought a lot of women 
of Moscow, and stripping all naked presented them to 
Ivan he took a few and gave the remainder to the 

Ivan the Terrible 

perpetrators of this outrage. Prince Chernialef he had 
grilled in an enormous frying-pan ; hundreds died on 
the rack. 

" Kniaz Ivan Kuraken, being found drunk, as was pretended, 
in Wenden when besieged, being voievod thereof, was stripped 
naked, laid on a cart, whipped through the market with six 
whips of wire, which cut his back, belly and bowels to death. 
Another, as I remember, Ivan Obrossimov, was hanged naked 
on a gibbet by the hair of his head ; the skin and flesh of his 
body from top to toe cut off and minced with knives into small 
gobbets, by four palatsniks (chamberlains). The one, wearied 
with his long carving, thrust his knife in somewhat far the 
sooner to dispatch him, and was presently had to another place 
of execution and that hand cut off"; which, not being well 
seared, he died the next day. 

"That was the valley compared to Gehenna or Tophet, 
where the faithless Egyptians did sacrifice their children to 
the hideous devils. 

" Kniaz Boris Telupa was drawn upon a sharp stake, soaped 
to enter his body and out at his neck, upon which he languished 
in horrible pain for fifteen hours and spake unto his mother, 
the duchess, brought to behold that woeful sight. And she, 
a good matronly woman, given to one hundred gunners who 
did her to death. Her body lying naked in the Place, Ivan 
commanded his huntsman to bring their hungry hounds and 
devour her flesh, and dragged her bones everywhere. The 
Tsar saying : ' Such as I favour I have honoured, and such as 
be treytors will I have thus done unto.'" Horsey. 

Another bo yard impaled, during the long hours he 
remained conscious, never ceased calling upon God to 
forgive the Tsar. On one occasion, during a time of 
great scarcity, Ivan caused it to be made known that 
at a certain hour alms would be distributed at his palace. 
A great crowd of needy people assembled, and seven 
hundred were promptly knocked on the head by the 
opritchniks and their bodies thrown into the lake ; a 
death so merciful, Horsey terms it "a deed of charity." 

Ivan forced father to kill son, and son father. His 
two once favourites, the Gluiskis, also suffered ; the 
son being beheaded as he reverently raised, the head 

7 1 

The Story of Moscow 

just struck from his father's body. On that same day 
another prince was impaled and four others beheaded. 
Many were hung up by the feet, hacked with knives, 
and whilst still living, plunged into a cauldron of scald- 
ing water. On one occasion, eight hundred women 
were drowned together. The opritchniks, of whom 
at one time Ivan had seven hundred, killed scores of 
people daily. 

He himself plotted against the life of his own son 
and gave " Maliuta " (Skutarov) orders to kill him. 
Kniaz Serebrenni saved him. This is the subject of 
Count A. Tolstoi's best known novel and of an old 
ballad which recounts how the Tsar got all the boyards 
together to say a mass for the dead Tsarevich and in 
mourning, " or all I will boil in a cauldron." Nikita 
Serebrenni, hiding the Tsarevich behind the door, enters 
in ordinary raiment and is questioned by the Tsar, who 
when he knows that the Tsarevich is safe, rejoices 
greatly and offers Serebrenni half the kingdom as a 
reward. Serebrenni answers : 

" Ah ! woe Tsar Ivan Vasilievich ! 
I wish neither for the half of thy kingdom, 
Nor the gold of thy coffers. 
Give me only that wicked Skutarov, 
I will guide him to the noisome marsh 
That men call most cursed spot." 

With the aid of his foreign physician, Bomel, Ivan 
substituted poison for the knife. At his table the 
craven boyards would gather trembling ; take from him 
and drain the cup they knew to be poisoned. No 
wonder Horsey called them " a base and servile people, 
without courage." In his turn " Elizius Bomelius " 
suffered a cruel death. When Theodorof was accused 
of aspiring to the crown, Ivan dressed him in the royal 
insignia, seated him on the throne and did him mock 
homage ; then struck him dead, saying that it was he 

Ivan the Terrible 

who exalted the humble and put down the mighty from 
their scats. 

His people all shrank from him : the merchants hid 
their goods if he, or any of his spies, were in their 
neighbourhood ; none dared be counted rich. He 
robbed any and all. Even the English merchants, 
whose good esteem he prized, were forced to furnish 
him with what he wished, on credit, and were never 
paid. They dared not offer their wares to any, unless 
he had first been afforded an opportunity to purchase 
at his own price. 

His palace at Alexandrovski was a wondrous build- 
ing ; all spires, domes, quaint gables, and corridors as 
unlike all other palaces as Vasili Blajenni is unlike 
other churches. Of his enormities there, none may 
write. After his death, it was struck by lightning and 
burned to the ground. 

He was rough, uncouth, unfeeling. He emptied 
scalding soup over one of his favourites and laughed 
at the sufferer's contortions. Taking offence at a 
remark of one of his jesters, he ran his knife into 
the little fellow's chest ; then called a doctor, telling 
him he had used his fool roughly. The doctor told 
him the man was dead. Ivan, remarking that he was 
a poor jester after all, went away to his revels. 

A straightforward old boyard, Morozof, a hard 
fighter and an upholder of the rights of his order, for 
disputing with the favoured Boris Godunov about pre- 
cedence, was exiled. After some years he was again 
summoned to court, and Ivan made of him a buffoon. 
Count Alexis Tolstoi uses the story in his romance 
"Prince Serebrenni." 

" 'Yes, the Boyard is old in years but young in spirit. He 
loves a joke so do I in the hours not devoted to prayers or 
my affairs of state. But since I killed that foolish jester, no 
one knows how to amuse me. I see that the Boyard Morozof 


The Story of Moscoiv 

wants the post. I have promised to show him a favour 
I name him my chief jester ! Bring the cap and bells 1 Put 
them on the Boyard.' The muscles of the Tsar's face worked 
sharply, his voice was unchanged. 

" Morozof was thunder-struck : he could not believe his ears. 
He looked more terrible even than the Tsar. When Gresnoi 
brought the cloak, with its tinkling bells, Morozof pushed 
him aside. ' Stand back I Do not dare, outcast, to touch 
Boyard Morozof! Your fathers cleaned out my ancestor's 
kennels. You leave me alone I Tsar, withdraw your order. 
Let me be put to death. With my head you can do as you 
will. You may not touch my honour ! ' 

" Ivan looked round at the opritchniks. ' You see I am 
right in saying that the Boyard will have his joke. I have no 
right to promote him to the office of jester, eh ? ' 

" ' Tsar, I implore you to withdraw your words. Before you 
were born I fought for your father with Simski against the 
Cheremiss ; with Odoevski and Mstislavski drove back the 
Krim-Tartars, and chased the Tartars away from Moscow. I 
defended you when a child ; fought for your rights and the 
rights of your mother. 1 prized only mine honour : that has 
always remained unstained. Will you mock the grey hairs 
of a faithful servant ? Behead me rather if you will. ' 

" ' Your foolish words show that you are well fitted for a 
jester. Put on the cloak ! And you fellows, help him. He 
is used to be waited upon.' 

"The opritchniks put on the fool's cloak, the parti-coloured 
cap, and retreating, bowed low before him. ' Now amuse us 
as did the late jester ! ' said their leader. 

" Morozof was resolute. ' I accept the new post, to which 
the Tsar has appointed me. It was not fit for Boyard 
Morozof to sit at table with a Godunov but the court fool 
may keep company even with such as the Basmanovs. Make 
way for the new jester, and listen, all of you, how he will 
amuse Ivan Vasilievich ! ' He made a gesture of command : 
the opritchniks stood aside, and with his bells tinkling, the 
fine old man marched up the room and seated himself on the 
stool before the Tsar, but with such dignity that he seemed to 
be wearing the royal purple instead of the motley of the 
court fool. 

" ' How shall I amuse you, Tsar ? ' and putting his elbows 
on the table, he leant forward and looked directly into the eyes 
cf his sovereign. ' It is not easy to find a fresh diversion for 
you ; there have been so many jests in Russia since you began 
to reign. You rode your horse over the helpless in the streets 


Ivan the Terrible 

once-upon-a-time ; you have thrown your companions to 
dogs, you poured burning pitch over the heads of those who 
humbly petitioned you ! But those were childish freaks. 
You soon tired of such simple cruelties. You began to 
imprison your nobles, in order to fill your rooms with their 
wives and daughters, but of this also you have tired. You 
next chose your most faithful servants for the torture ; then 
you found it wearied you to mock the people and the nobles, 
so you began to scoff at the Church of God. You picked out 
the lowest rabble, decked them out as monks, and yourself 
became the abbot ! In daylight you commit murders ; at night 
sing psalms ! Your favourite amusement, this 1 None had 
thought of it before. You are covered with blood, yet you 
chant and ring the holy bells and would like to perform the 
mass. What else shall I say to amuse you, Tsar? This: 
whilst you are masquerading thus with your opritchniks, 
wallowing in blood, Sigismund with his Poles will fall on you 
in the west, and from the east will come the Khan, and you 
will have left none alive to defend Moscow. The holy churches 
of God will be entered and burned by the infidel, all the holy 
relics will be taken : you, you the Tsar of all the Russias, 
will have to kneel at the feet of the Khan, and ask leave to 
kiss his stirrup ! ' Morozof ceased. None dared interrupt ; 
all held their breath in agonising suspense. Ivan, pale, with 
flashing eyes, and foaming with rage, listened to all atten- 
tively, bent forward, as though fearing to lose a single word. 
Morozof gazed proudly around him. ' Do you want me to 
divert you further, Tsar? I will. One faithful subject, of high 
birth, still remained to you. You had not yet thought of 
killing him, because perhaps perhaps you feared the anger 
of God ; and perhaps only because you could think of no torture 
or infamous death worthy of him. He lived in disgrace far 
from you : you exiled him ; you might have forgotten him 
but you never forget, do you, Tsar? You sent your cursed 
favourite, Viasemski, to burn his house and carry off his wife. 
When he came to you for redress for these wrongs, you sent 
him to combat for the right, in the hope that your young 
courtier would kill the old boyard. God did not allow you 
that joy, Tsar. He gave the other the victory. What did 
you do then, Tsar?' the bells on the cap tinkled as the old 
man's head shook with his emotion. ' Why, then you dis- 
honoured him by an unheard-of outrage. Then, Tsar,' he 
pushed back the table in his indignation, and sprang to his 
feet ' then you ordered the boyard, Morozof, to wear 
the fool's cap ! You forced the man, who had saved Tula 


The Story of Moscow 

and Moscow, to play the fool to amuse you and your idle 
courtiers ! ' 

" The look of the old warrior was fierce ; the absurdity of his 
dress disappeared. His eyes flashed fire, his white beard fell 
on a chest scarred witL many wounds now hidden beneath a 
jester's cloak. So much dignity was there in him that by his 
side the Tsar looked mean. 

" Tsar, your new fool stands before you. Listen to his last 
jest. While you live the people dare not speak, but when 
your hateful reign is over your name will be cursed from 
generation to generation, until, on the day of judgment, the 
hundreds and thousands you have murdered men, women and 
little children, all of whom you have tortured and killed, all 
will stand before God appealing against you, their murderer. 
On that dreadful day I, too, shall appear in this same dress 
before the Great Judge, and will ask for that honour you took 
from me on earth. You will have no body-guard then to 
defend you ; the Judge will hear us, and you will go into that 
everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' 

" Casting a disdainful look upon the courtiers, Morozof turned 
round and slowly withdrew. None dared to stop him. He 
passed through the hall with great dignity, and not until the 
jingle of his bells ceased did any speak." Alexis Tolstoi. 

His son, the Tsarevich Ivan, wished to lead an 
army against his father's enemies in Lithuania. In 
this offer the jealous Tsar saw an attempt to gain 
popularity. He turned on Ivan savagely and struck 
him repeatedly with the iron-shod " sceptre " he always 
carried ; the last blow knocked the young man sense- 
less. He fell to the ground, and the Tsar, now 
frightened, did his utmost to save him, but he was 
injured too severely and died four days later. 

There still exists in the monastery of St Cyril, 
Moscow, a synodal letter, in which are specified a 
number of victims for whom Ivan solicited the prayers of 
the Church. The souls of 3,470 in all are to be prayed 
for ; 986 of these are mentioned by name, the others 
are cited as " with his wife," " with sons," " with 
wife and children," " Kazarim Dubrovski and his two 
sons and the ten men who came to their defence," 

Ivan the Terrible 

" twenty men of the village of Kolomensko," " eighty 
of Matveche," " Remember, Lord, the souls of thy 
servants to the number of 1,505 Novgorodians." 

In the number of wives recognised by the Church as 
more or less legitimately joined with him he beat Henry 
VIII. by only one, but in the number of mistresses 
he can be compared with Solomon alone. Anastasia 
Romanof died in i 560 ; in the same year he married 
Mary Tangrak, either a Cheremiss or Tartar. His 
next wife was chosen out of all the most eligible maids 
in Russia. Her name was Marfa Sabakina of Novgorod. 
The marriage took place on October 28, 1571, and on 
November 13 of the same year she died. Her brother, 
Michael, the Tsar impaled shortly afterwards. Ivan's 
marriage with Natalia Bulkatov was not recognised by 
the Church. Anna Koltoski he took next, but he 
forced her into a nunnery later, where she lived until 
1626. Anna Vasilichekov and one Mstislavski suc- 
ceeded, but only one was recognised, which one is 
disputed. Vassilissa Melentief, a great beauty, was his 
next choice, but the Church recognised only Maria 
Nagoi, the mother of the murdered Dmitri, whom he 
married in 1580. When but a few months wed, he 
informed Queen Elizabeth that he would put aside 
his wife, who was shortly to become a mother, if he 
could find a suitable partner for himself in England. 
Poor Lady Mary Hastings, learning something of his 
character, begged her sovereign not to mate her 
with such a barbarian. His harem was that of a 

He was prematurely worn out with his excesses. 
He could obtain little peace. Superstitious, he 
sent for wizards and prognosticates ; Finns who 
certainly foretold the day, if not the hour, of his 
death. The appearance of a comet greatly terrified 
him the once mighty Tsar lost his strength. Like 


The Story of Moscow 

Herod of old he died a fearful death, and he left his 
country in a worse plight than he found it. 

He was received into the Church before his 
demise, but he is officially known as Yoanna and 
familiarly as " Groznoi " (the Terrible). His evil 
deeds are forgotten by the people, whilst the enrich- 
ment of his country by others of his day is counted 
to his credit. He was the first " Tsar " of Russia, 
and not in name only ; he was its first ruler to become 
an absolute autocrat. 

It is a fashion of this humanitarian age to make 
allowances for the harsh deeds of those who lived 
in ruder times, and in this nineteenth century even 
Ivan the Terrible has found apologists. His atrocities, 
his joy in the perpetration of the cruellest tortures on 
the innocent, all his wickednesses are admitted ; but 
they call his lust by a Greek name and say he is to 
be pitied rather than condemned. Yet some there 
must be even now, who, when they read that Ivan 
always went to the torture rooms with joy and came 
away from its fiendish practices invigorated, refreshed 
and gay, will rightly regard him with loathing and 
horror. Not only is his character without a redeem- 
ing trait, but his nature is so fiendish and foul that 
the student may read long and investigate very closely 
before making sure that Ivan was human. His lusts 
had not the saving grace of humour ; his fear even 
was sulphurous. Neither circumstances nor events 
either mitigate or condone his cruelties. Through- 
out his life he was actuated by one impulse only, to 
gratify and preserve himself. Those who believe that 
the occasion makes the man must feel that the fifty- 
years rule of this despot upsets that theory. Never 
was there such need for a Cromwell the country 
could not produce a man, much less a liberator. 
Doubtless the action of previous rulers, the centuries 


Ivan the Terrible 

of thraldom to Tartars, the thorough teaching of the 
Christian doctrine of obedience to rulers, contributed to 
the servility of the people. One of his tortured victims, 
it is true, did try to assault him, but the wretch was 
at once killed by the watchful Tsarevich, and in 
future Ivan ran no such risks. Prelates rebuked him 
and suffered ; his victims suffered and forgave him 
none tried to free themselves or help others. In all 
this dreary time only one man appears to have acted 
worthily. The Englishman, Jerom Horsey, exerted 
all the influence he possessed on behalf of Ivan's 
prisoners. The services he rendered deserve a 
memorial ; instead he received the condemnation of 
the Russia Company, in whose employ he was, and 
the encomiums and admiration of the Tsar whom he 
loathed and despised. 

The magnitude and multitude of his crimes place 
Ivan far beyond other tyrants of his class. It is 
reassuring to know that in no other country and at no 
other time would his rule be permitted. The mere 
possibility of a recurrence of such a time of terror 
would determine every thinking being to die childless. 
The spirit of freedom renders the ascendency or 
continuance of his like impossible but in mediaeval 
Moscow the spirit of freedom had no place. 


'The Troublous Times 

" But war has spread its terrors o'er thee, 
And thou hast been in ashes laid : 
Thy throne seemed tottering then before thee, 
Thy sceptre feeble as thy blade." DMITRIEV. 

" Yea, one is full out as villainous as the other." 

W. RUSSELL A Bloudie and Tragickc Massacre. 

DORIS GODUNOV was the most powerful and 
^ sagacious of the boyards spared by Ivan the 
"Terrible"; he was best fitted to direct the policy 
of the government, and later the people looked to him 
as the only ruler possible. A man who could satisfy 
Ivan, yet take no part in his orgies, who could keep 
the goodwill of the foreign residents, yet be beloved of 
the Muscovites, must have possessed abilities of no mean 
order. Boris was a great man to whom historians 
have done scant justice. He is described as inordin- 
ately ambitious and accused of unscrupulousness in his 
methods, but the court in which he was schooled may 
be adduced in extenuation of his crimes, whilst am- 
bition, an undesirable quality for a subject to possess, 
is a laudable virtue in monarchs. It was his misfortune 
not to have been born in the purple his contemporaries 
and the historians have counted this a fault, but it is 
too late to blame him for acting as .a king when he was 
by birth a simple noble. 

Boris Godunov, as brother of the Tsar's wife, had 

'The ^Troublous Times 

a recognised position apart from the favour the Tsar's 
father had shown him. The relatives of the Tsarina 
were always counted less dangerous to the dynasty than 
were the Tsar's blood relations, and their influence at 
Court was greater than their precedence warranted. 
Theodore was the opposite of his father, unintelligent, 
feeble-willed, incompetent, he thrust greatness upon 
Boris Godunov, who saved Moscow. At that time 
the Tsar held territory in Europe larger than that ruled 
by any of his contemporaries ; the conquests of Yermak 
in Asia brought as much more under his dominion. 
Enemies, active, watchful, virulent, were ever ready to 
harass its rulers. Poles and Swedes expected Moscow 
sooner or later, to fall to them, and lost no opportunity 
to effect the overthrow of the Russians. Tartars and 
others kept up predatory wars and, within the empire, 
towns and districts, devastated by the wanton cruelties 
of Ivan, were anxious to get back their independence. 
There were no men able to rule. Ivan had put to 
death those brave enough and independent enough to 
assert authority ; what was worse for Russia, he had 
driven into exile competent and influential nobles, who, 
maddened by his persecutions, became enemies of their 
fatherland and plotted with foreign sovereigns against 
the state. 

To govern was difficult ; to preserve the empire 
intact, still more so ; further aggrandisement almost im- 
possible with the conditions then prevailing. Theodore 
left everything to the council, duma, consisting of 
boyards whom Godunov held in the hollow of his 
hand. From his brother-in-law he obtained special 
titles and special powers ; he became viceroy of im- 
mense territories, and could put 100,000 armed men 
into the field at need. He was practically regent 
and lacked nothing that was royal but the title. 
When the Shooiskis, the Belskis, the Mstislavskis 
F 81 

The Story of Moscow 

and others did not please him he forced them from 
power. Mstislavski had to become a monk ; Shooiski, 
who tried to get together a party among the merchants, 
was banished to a distant town ; Dionysius, the metro- 
politan, was deposed, and a nominee of Godunov's 
succeeded to the primacy of the church. When, in 
1 586, Batory, King of Lithuania died, Boris Godunov 
put forward Theodore as candidate for the crown of 
Poland. But the Poles would have no ruler who 
belonged to the eastern church. Moreover, they 
feared the Muscovites would join Poland to Muscovy 
like a sleeve to a coat ; but the claim proved that Russia 
was still a power with which the west would have to 
reckon. Boris, who had always been friendly with 
the English, obtained for Theodore the support of 
England against Danes and Swedes ; he quite won 
over Queen Elizabeth to the side of the young Tsar 
and, in many ways, as Grand High Chancellor ad- 
vanced the interests of his sovereign and his country. 

In Moscow he acted intelligently. The middle 
town, the Bielo-Gorod or free town, between the 
Kitai Gorod and the present boulevards was enclosed 
with a wall of stone, having twenty-eight towers and 
nine gates. The last gate, that on the Arbat, was 
razed in 1792, the wall having been earlier demolished 
and its site utilised for the present existing boulevards. 
Its style was that of the wall around the Donskoi 
Monastery built in 1591 to commemorate the victory 
of the Muscovites under Mstislavski against 150,000 
Krim-Tartars advancing on the city under the leader- 
ship of the Khan Kazi Ghiree. Another building of 
Godunov's is the smaller " Golden Palace " in the 
Terem of the Kremlin, which was erected for the 
accommodation of the Tsaritsa Irene. Many bells were 
cast, and some cannon including the monstrous Tsar 
Pushka still within the Kremlin which bears a 


The Troublous Times 

portrait of Theodore on horseback on its reinforcement. 
Theodore lived in regal state : his household numbered 
over 1000, and he entertained foreign ambassadors with 
even greater pomp and magnificence than his pre- 
decessors. Not only were these guests provided with 
a fitting residence and a large suit, but it was not un- 
common for as many as a hundred and fifty dinners to 
be sent daily from the Tsar's kitchen for their enter- 

Ivan's youngest son, Dmitri, with his mother Maria, 
and her relatives, the Nagois, were domiciled in 
Uglitch by the order of Boris; whilst there in 1581, 
about the period of the Tartar invasion, young Dmitri 
was murdered -at Boris Godunov's instigation it is 
said. Jerom Horsey, who was in Uglitch at the 
time, states that he was aroused late at night, the news 
given him, and his aid requested on behalf of Dmitri's 
mother believed to be poisoned. Horsey gave the 
messenger the small vial of sallet oil the Queen (Eliza- 
beth) had given him as a specific against all poisons and 
ills. An inquiry was ordered when Boris Godunov 
was suspected of having instigated the crime, and as a 
result of the investigation made by Shooiski it was de- 
clared that the boy cut his own throat and that the 
Nagois and citizens of Uglitch had put to death inno- 
cent men as murderers, whereupon, the incredible finding 
being believed, an effort was made to exterminate the 
Nagois, and Uglitch was almost depopulated. 

There can be no doubt that Dmitri was murdered 
when six years old, but it is not so clear at whose 
instigation the deed was done. Giles Fletcher states 
that the child " resembled his father in delight of 
blood," and it may be that evidence of his cruel 
propensities induced some sufferer from Ivan's tyranny 
to wreak vengeance on the son in hope of saving 
a generation to come from such suffering as the past 


The Story of Moscow 

had endured. It may be that Boris Godunov plotted 
for his removal, but it is known that Boris was anxious 
for Theodore to have a son to succeed to the throne, 
and, probably, had then little intention of securing it 
for himself. One of the complaints made by the 
Russia Company against Jerom Horsey was in con- 
nection with a wrongly interpreted order he executed 
on behalf of Boris Godunov who wished a " wise 
woman " sent out from England to doctor the Tsaritsa, 
and the company instead sent out a midwife. 

To conciliate the small landowners a decree was 
issued in i 597 forbidding peasants to leave the land 
and thus serfdom was established. Some efforts had 
been made in former centuries to restrict the migra- 
tions of a people, nomadic by habit, still accustomed 
to change masters frequently by moving from one 
estate to another at seed time and harvest. The 
tendency of the powerful was to increase the size of 
their holdings and to augment their retainers by en- 
ticing labourers from smaller estates. To check this 
the husbandman was attached to the soil as the serf 
of the estate. 

As statesmanlike, and less objectionable, was the 
appointment of a patriarch to win over the clergy. 
Jeremiah, patriarch of Constantinople, was banished 
by the Turks and sought refuge in Rome. The 
Pope sent him to Moscow, hoping that the chief of 
their own church would influence the Russians to 
forward the amalgamation of the Greek and Roman 
churches. If not successful in this, it was hoped that 
the recountal of the patriarch's sufferings and indignities 
at the hands of infidels, might induce the Romans to 
make a league with Spain against the Turks. Accord- 
ing to Giles Fletcher the Pope's emissaries did nothing 
more than inveigh against England ; but with the 
destruction of the Spanish Armada all conceit of a 

'The Troublous Times 

Russo-Spanish league vanished. Godunov profited 
by Jeremiah's stay in Moscow. He induced him to 
consecrate the Metropolitan Job, patriarch of Moscow, 
and to this patriarchate that of Constantinople was 
subsequently added. Thus Moscow became indis- 
putably the head of the Orthodox Church, by direct 
apostolic succession. 

The Tsar fell ill in 1597 and died in the Kremlin 
the following year, and his widow then at once retired 
to the Novo Devichi convent mourning her bereavement 
and blaming herself that through her the sovereign race 
had perished, for her only child, Theodosia, died in 
1592, when but ten months old. 

The enmity the reigning princes had shown their own 
kindred, produced the unexpected result that there were 
now no legal heirs to the throne ; the line of which 
Andrew Bogoloobski Dolgoruki was the founder, was 
extinct. The Tsar Theodore when on his death-bed 
said that God would provide the next Tsar, and refused 
to nominate a successor. The States' Council convened 
for the purpose of appointing a ruler, unanimously chose 
Boris Godunov. It was impossible that the throne 
could escape him. He hung back, wishful to have 
an expression of the desire of the people of Moscow, 
as well as of the delegates. The people required him. 
They went to the Novo Devichi convent, whither he 
had gone, begged him to accept the position to which 
he had been appointed ; his sister " blessed him for the 
throne," and with great show of reluctance, he at last 
consented. In due course he was crowned ; reigned 
wisely and well, but was not liked. A chronicler 
has it that " he presented to the poor in a vase of gold 
the blood of the innocents, he fed them with unholy 

Those of his subjects who remembered the tyranny 
of Ivan should have blessed their elected ruler. They 


The Story of Moscow 

could not forget his Tartar origin : he was not of royal 
descent, was no Tsar. Nor could he win popularity. 
His first act was to conclude an honourable peace with 
Kazi Ghiree and the invading Tartars ; his policy was 
to avoid war, that " there might be neither widows nor 
orphans of his making." 
Horsey wrote of him : 

" He is nowe become a Prince of subjects, and not of slaves, 
kept within duty and loyalty by love and not by feare and 
tyranny. He is comely of stature, of countenance well-favoured 
and majesticalle withal ; affable in behaviour and yet of great 
courage, wyse, politick, grave ; merciful, a lover of virtue and 
goodness, a hater of wicked men, and a severe punisher of in- 
justice. In summa, he is a most rare prince as ever reigned 
over these people as any I have ever read of in their chronicles, 
which are of great antiquity." 

In 1 60 1 Moscow was in a state of famine, the like 
of which it had never known. In a short time 3 
roubles would not buy as much food as i 5 copecks had 
done formerly. Driven wild by hunger the Muscovites 
committed fearful atrocities. Men were entrapped, 
killed and eaten. It is said that some mothers killed 
and ate their own children ; pies of human flesh were 
sold openly ; many thousand corpses remained unburied 
in the streets ; chroniclers state that half a million 
perished of famine and disease. To alleviate some of 
the misery, Boris caused the granaries and stores to 
be burst open, and the food avarice withheld sold at 
normal prices. 

Boris built two new palaces of stone within the 
Kremlin ; had made a map of the Russian dominions, 
and a plan of Moscow. To find employment for the 
poor he caused the belfry tower of Ivan Veliki to be 
constructed, and did his utmost to win the love of the 
citizens. He had to combat treason and intrigue ; his 
reprisals were severe, but the victims suffered in secret. 


The 'Troublous 'Times 

The Belskis and Romanofs were ill-treated ; the head 
of the latter house was forced to become a monk, and 
took the name of Philaret ; his wife to become a nun, 
under the name of Marfa. One of the most remarkable 
specimens of Muscovite architecture has survived from 
Boris Godunov's day, the church of the Assumption 
he built on the Pokrovka. Like other churches of 
mediseval Moscow, its chief entrance is by steps to a 
second storey, but unlike them it is carried much higher 
and appears more like a collection of buildings piled 
upon each other. Thirteen cupolas, at different heights, 
are arranged around the central dome. A covered 
gallery surrounds the church on the main storey, and 
the logia beneath was, until recently, divided and let 
as shops. 

In 1604, the first false Dmitri appeared, invading 
Russia from the west, at the head of Poles and 
Zaporogians. Boris was energetic and able, but the 
towns revolted on the approach of Dmitri, and the 
soldiers of Godunov's voievodes '* found it hard to 
bear arms against their lawful sovereign." Even 
Mstislavski, who tried to stop the advance, had no 
soldiers to help him ; his men " had not hands to fight, 
only feet with which to run away." Shooiski was 
better able to rally his men, and he defeated Dmitri at 
Dobryvichi. Boris then thought that the struggle was 
finished, but the movement had only just commenced. 
The Ukraine rose ; some 40,000 Cossacks of the Don 
joined the impostor, and the inaction of the voievodes 
to stop the advance towards Moscow, proved that the 
spirit of treason was wide spread. 

Boris Godunov did not live to see the issue. After 
a repast he was suddenly taken ill ; there was suspicion 
of poisoning and, expecting to die, he nominated his 
son Theodore his successor. After confiding the 
youth to the care of his friend Basmanov, to the 


The Story of Moscow 

Patriarch and to the people of Moscow, he breathed 
his last on the i jth April 1 605, being then but fifty- 
five years of age. 

Theodore ascended the throne as soon as his father's 
remains were interred in the Archangelski Cathedral, 
but it soon became evident to his supporters that neither 
officers nor men would fight on behalf of the Godunovs. 
Rather than become a victim of treason, Basmanov 
chose to be its author, and announced that he was 
convinced that Dmitri was in truth the son of Ivan the 

The impostor was audacious and successful. His 
career has the fascination of romance. He was one 
Otrepief, a monk of the Chudov monastery within the 
Kremlin. Job, the Patriarch, made him his secretary, 
a position which enabled him to learn several state and 
court secrets. He said one day to his fellow scribes, 
that some day he would reign over them as Tsar of 
Muscovy. For answer they spat, in his face, and 
reported his words. Boris sent him a prisoner to the 
monastery on the White Lake. He escaped, wandered 
about for some time, and at Novgorod Severski was 
well received by the inhabitants, to whom he revealed 
himself as the supposed murdered Dmitri, and promised 
all who helped him suitable rewards if he should obtain 
his own rights. Then he threw off his cowl and 
joined a band of Zaporogians ; learned of them how 
to ride and fight. As a soldier he sought service with 
Adam Vichnevetski, a Polish pan of good standing. 
He soon feigned illness ; a priest was summoned, and 
to him he confessed that he was the son of the Tsar. 
This disclosure was of too great political value to 
remain the secret of the priest, and in due course 
Otrepief was recognised as Dmitri by Vichnevetski. 
Then the papal Nuncio took him under his protection, 
and he was presented to King Sigismund. 

'The Troublous 'Times 

It is unlikely that these dignitaries were deceived. 
Sigismund feigned to believe OtrepiePs story, but 
refused to recognise him officially, though he allowed 
his subjects, at their own risk, to take service under 
Otrepief's banner and foment a revolution. 

From various motives the Russian leaders flocked to 
him as he marched towards Moscow. In the town 
the people crowded in the Grand Square to hear the 
news of his triumphant progress ; his manifesto was 
read from the Lobnoe Mesto, and none dare stay the 
treason, not even the Patriarch would venture ! The 
boyards Mstislavski, Vasili Shooiski, Belski and others, 
went out to argue with the citizens, but they were met 
with cries of " The day of Godunov is over ! To-day 
the sun rises upon Russia ; Dmitri ! Long live the 
Tsar Dmitri ! Down with the Godunovs ! Cursed 
be the memory of Boris ! Long live Dmitri ! " So 
shouting, this crowd made its way into the Kremlin. 

The rioters were masters ; the guard fled, and the 
townsmen who had forced their way into the palace 
actually pulled the young Tsar from the throne. His 
mother begged them to spare his life, and her cry was 
heeded. The Godunovs were removed from the palace 
to their own dwelling and a guard placed over them. 
The relations and friends of the Godunovs were then 
imprisoned, their dwellings pillaged and destroyed. 
Belski, from his known antipathy to the Godunovs, 
became the counsellor of the mob. Some time later 
the partisans of Dmitri made a fresh attack on the 
Kremlin. The object of their fury on this occasion 
was the Patriarch. He was celebrating mass in the 
Cathedral of the Assumption when an armed band 
forced their way into the sanctuary, seized him at the 
altar, dragged him forth and tore away his vestments. 
Clad in black he was brought in ignominy from the 
church, shown to the people, and sent away on a 


The Story of Moscow 

common cart to the monastery of Staritsa, five hundred 
versts from Moscow. 

On the loth of June 1605, the Princes Galitzin 
and Mossolski, with a couple of secretaries and three 
of the guard of Streltsi, went to the palace of the 
Godunovs ; took Theodore and his sister from the 
arms of the Tsarina and ordered the guard to put 
them to death in an adjoining room, and then strangled 
the Tsarina herself. Theodore made a struggle for 
life, fighting savagely, but he was struck down. Xenia 
was spared ; Dmitri who had heard of her beauty 
ordered Mossolski to find an asylum for her in his 
mansion. The corpses of Marie and Theodore after 
being exposed to the public, were interred in the 
convent of St Varsonophee on the Srietenka, and the 
disinterred body of Boris Godunov brought to the 
same resting-place. 

At this time Dmitri was at Tula, but all being now 
in readiness for his enthronement, he came to Moscow 
and made a state entry unparalleled for its magnificence 
and pageantry. A violent gust of wind which some- 
what disturbed the procession as it crossed the Moskva 
was taken as an omen of ill, and later in the day, by 
an unlucky coincidence, at the moment when the clergy 
were prostrate before the Holy ikons, the foreign 
musicians sounded a fanfare. When Dmitri prostrated 
himself before the tomb of Ivan and cried, " Oh my 
father, thou left me an orphan and in exile, but by thy 
prayers I have regained my possessions ! " the simple 
people were convinced of his identity. He was 
crowned; his supposed mother, Maria Nagoi, recognised 
him, and his rule commenced. 

Little fault can be found with the way in which 
Dmitri governed. He pardoned those who had 
suffered from the Godunovs, and was generous to 
those who had shown themselves inimical to him ; 


The Troublous 'Times 

he rewarded his partisans handsomely and was lavish 
in his expenditure. He purchased and ordered rich 
furnishings for himself and the court, exhibiting a 
prodigality that frightened the more staid of the 
Moscow citizens. In three months he is said to 
have spent more than seven million roubles, and the 
display of riches was the wonder of foreign visitors 
to his court. He rode Arabs, dressed his servants 
like nobles, and built and furnished a palace that sur- 
passed anything seen in Moscow. It was of wood ; 
the stoves of porcelain had doors of silver ; the bolts 
and bars of the palace were all gold, or at least gilded ; 
before the entrance was an enormous statue of Cerberus, 
of which the three jaws opened wide at the least 
blow. The chroniclers state' that " this was a symbol 
of the dwelling that was to be Dmitri's throughout 

There were malcontents, and chief among them 
was Vasili Shooiski, who, on the denunciation of 
Basmanov, was tortured and condemned to death. 
At the last moment he was pardoned, but was im- 
placable, and worked assiduously for the overthrow 
of Dmitri and the ruin of Basmanov. 

Pope Paul V. sent Rogoni to Moscow on the usual 
errand, but Dmitri was in nowise inclined to make 
any submission to Rome. At the same time he was 
tolerant, and this tolerance gave great offence to the 
orthodox. He allowed Lutherans to preach ; per- 
mitted the Jesuits to have a place of worship within 
the Kremlin ; even listened to an address in Latin 
delivered by a Jesuit in an orthodox church. Equally 
irritating was the freedom foreigners now had to enter 
an orthodox church, the doors of which had been 
hitherto closed against all but the faithful. Dmitri 
upbraided the clergy for their intolerance. " With us," 
said he, " there is only the outward observance, we 


The Story of Moscow 

ignore the spirit of our religion. You fast, you 
prostrate yourselves before relics, you worship the 
Holy ikons, but you do not understand the spirit of 
religion. You consider yourselves the most upright 
people on the earth, and meanwhile you do not even 
live as do Christians. You lack charity : you are little 
inclined to good works. Why do you scorn those 
who dissent from you ? What is the Roman faith ? 
It is a Christian faith, even as yours is." Such 
opinions as these alienated everyone, but especially the 
clergy. To them he was gracious, allowing the 
Patriarch, four metropolitans, seven archbishops and 
three bishops to have seats on the general council a 
privilege they had previously received upon very 
special occasions only. An order he made for an 
inventory of clerical property inflamed the priests of 
all degrees against him. 
Crull writes of him : 

" For his owne person, he maintayneth his greatnesse very 
well. He was a man of mean stature, browne of hue, prompt 
to choler, but quickly appeased. He hath broken many a 
staff, and given sentence of death, upon the marshals and 
other officers, when they did but little swerve from their duty. 
After he grew to know the Russians' false pranks, he provided 
himself with a guard of Livonians, and afterwards also of 
Asmaynes and other strangers. ... He yet further determined 
to have also a hundred musketeers, when he was laid apart. 
He took great delight in hunting, and in casting great pieces 
of artillery, and not only to see them in hand but also to 
proove them himself: for which end he caused ravelynes and 
ramparts to be erected to imitate an assault." 

Dmitri was too fond of the customs of the west to 
satisfy the Muscovites. Many charges were made 
against him which seem absurd now. Among them 
may be instanced " that he favoured foreigners, 
especially musicians ; " ordinarily he sacrificed pomp, 
and went hither and thither about Moscow like a 

The Troublous Times 

simple citizen. He took the cannon out of the town 
to test various pieces " and might then have turned them 
on the town " ; he liked to watch mimic battles, and 
laughed when the Muscovites were routed by the foreign 
soldiers. He ate meat during Lent and veal at any 
time. He showed little or no regard for Russian 
customs, and broke down those barriers that prevented 
the common people from having access to their Tsar. 
Much could have been pardoned, but two things were 
decisive : he would not sleep after dinner, and he 
mounted his horse at a bound. 

When Dmitri arranged to wed Marina Mniszek, 
the daughter of a Polish pan, Vasili Shooiski plotted 
anew for his overthrow. He it was who had been 
commissioned to hold the inquiry into the crime com- 
mitted at Uglitch ; and the people remembered that he, 
if anyone, knew the truth respecting the murder of 
Ivan's son and the identity of their present ruler. 
This in some measure accounts for Dmitri's surprising 
leniency towards this enemy. In his new plot Shooiski 
counted upon the support of 18,000 men of Novgorod 
and Pskov, then in Moscow on their way to do battle 
against the Krim-Tartars. The Tsar could count on 
the support of the common people, and though warned 
of the danger that was threatening, he took no measures 
to ensure his own safety, or that of his guests and bride. 
The agents of Shooiski circulated two rumours ; one, 
among the boyard and clergy, to the effect that with 
the help of the newly arrived Poles " Dmitri " intended 
to massacre the boyards and introduce the Roman 
faith ; to the common people it was represented that 
the Poles were ill-treating the Tsar. On the night of 
the i yth of May the soldiers secured the entrances to 
the Kremlin ; and on the morning of the i8th, Shooiski, 
with a cross in one hand and a drawn sword in the 
other, obtained an entrance through the Redeemer Gate, 
o 97 

The Story of Moscow 

made straight for the Cathedral of the Assumption and, 
prostrating himself before the ikon of Mary of Vladimir, 
called upon those around him in the name of God to 
attack the cursed heretics. The alarm bell rang ; 
Basmanov met some boyards who, with swords drawn, 
demanded that " Dmitri " should be given them. They 
killed him ; then entered the palace in search of the 
Tsar, who tried to escape, and to defend himself. 
Driven along a corridor, he slipped, was stabbed, and 
thrown into the courtyard. The guard of Streltsi, 
called to his assistance, would have defended him, but 
when threatened by Vasili and -the boyards, the Tsar 
prayed them to desist, and the companions of Shooiski 
thereupon despatched him. Marina was spared, and a 
guard left to protect her ; but the conspirators, having 
killed Dmitri, Basmanov, and a hundred or more of 
the foreign musicians in the palace, they spread over 
the Kitai Gorod and murdered without discrimination 
all the Poles and foreigners they encountered. These 
scenes continued all day, and at last the populace took 
up the cry of " Down with the Poles ! " and the 
massacre of foreigners became general. 

The bodies of " Dmitri " and Basmanov, their faces 
covered with ribald masks, prepared for " mummeries " 
in celebration of the wedding, were dragged out on to the 
Grand Square and exposed to the public ; later these 
corpses were burned, and the ashes fired from a cannon. 

On the day following the massacre, Vasili Shooiski 
was proclaimed Tsar. The action was too precipitate. 
Galitzin, who was a candidate, was not satisfied ; the 
provinces were annoyed that they had not been con- 
sulted. Shooiski did not feel secure. He sent into 
the distant parts of the empire as voievodes those 
boyards who had taken the side of " Dmitri." 
Among them was Mossolski, who, on leaving Moscow, 
took a letter addressed to " Dmitri," and had already 

The Troublous Times 

formed the idea of advancing someone else to the 
throne. Vasili Shooiski was fifty years of age, he 
lacked energy, and his rule satisfied no one. Pre- 
tenders sprang up everywhere ; at one time there were 
seventeen people claiming to be "Dmitri"; others 
took the name of Peter; all claimed to be sons of 
Ivan. Fighting men took their part. Cossacks, 
Zaporogians, and others, wanted war for the booty it 
brought. The nobles led a war in the south; in 
the east the Tartars thought the time opportune for 
action ; Finns tried to recover their independence ; 
Swedes and Poles looked on, waiting for the best 
moment at which to interfere. News travelled slowly, 
lack of communication made local risings possible. The 
people in distant parts heard almost at the same time 
that the Tsar was dead, that Dmitri had recovered his 
own, that the usurper had been dethroned they knew 
not what to believe. In Moscow the citizens re- 
membered that the bodies which had been exposed 
on the Grand Square had the faces masked : to most 
it seemed possible that " Dmitri " had escaped after all. 

It was some time before the revolutionists joined 
forces. In the meantime Shooiski instigated an anti- 
foreign reaction. Dmitri exiled a bishop named 
Hermogen, an able, devout man, uncompromisingly 
orthodox, stubborn and bigoted, who now became 
Patriarch, and won the confidence of the people. 

In due course the different sections of the army of 
revolutionaries closed in towards Moscow. Lissovski, 
a noted brigand, had a large following. There was 
John Zapieha, exiled from Poland, seeking fortune, 
and with him numerous " pans," intent on the spoils of 
war ; a host of Zaporogians, and the usual large army 
of Cossacks, under the hetman Rojinski, joined them. 
In the field the superior talents of Michael Skopin- 
Shooiski, a nephew of the Tsar, saved the situation. 


The Story of Moscow 

He refused overtures made by Liapunov, and this 
voievode consequently separated his following from 
that of the revolutionaries and joined Shooiski. Bolot- 
nikov had then to fall back on Tula, and he wrote to 
Mniszek that unless " Dmitri " was produced, their 
cause would be lost. He was found, but too late to 
save Bolotnikov, who was drowned ; another leader was 
hanged. The identity of the new impostor is as disputed 
as that of "Junius"; to historians he is simply the "second 
false Dmitri," the " Brigand of Tushino," or the " Little 
Tsar." His party was strong, because each of its units 
expected spoils in case of victory ; it received such 
support as it had from the people by reason of the ex- 
Tsaritsa Marina, the widow of " Dmitri," and Mniszek, 
recognising the impostor as " Dmitri." 

The northern towns supported the impostor, and 
Sigismund and the Poles made common cause with 
him against Moscow. Shooiski, who had refused the 
proffered aid of Sweden, now sought help, and from 
Novgorod the young Delagardie was sent on behalf of 
Sweden. More could have been accomplished had 
not Vasili Shooiski been so jealous of the successes 
and popularity of his nephew. He was afraid to let 
him take the field, and the impostor established him- 
self at Tushino, a village ten miles to the north of 
Moscow. Here he held his court, and enticed the 
Muscovites by promises. Nobles and citizens alike 
essayed to be on good terms with both Shooiski, the 
"half-Tsar," and the impostor, the "little Tsar," spend- 
ing their time at both courts, and earning the name of 
Pereletsi (birds-of-passage) by their frequent changes 
of residence. The townsmen were so demoralised 
that they were ready for whomsoever should succeed, 
yet gave little assistance to either " Tsar," and responded 
but feebly to future attempts at insurrection within the 
capital. The soldiers returned to their homes, and 

'The Troublous Times 

Shooiski became by turns devout and ribald. Now 
spending all his hours in church, anon seeking aid of 
sorcerers ; one day punishing traitors with extreme 
rigour, the next proclaiming that all were free to do as 
they wished. The few who remained true to Shooiski 
sent sons or near relations to make court to the impostor. 

The Church saved Russia in this extremity ; it was 
unswervingly orthodox and opposed to Polish su- 
premacy. The rich monastery of Troitsa attracted 
the cupidity of the revolutionaries, and some 30,000 
men under Zapieha and Lissovski laid siege to the 
famous monastery in 1608. The monks held out 
bravely, keeping the besiegers at bay for sixteen 
months. In September 1609 Sigismund himself laid 
siege to Smolensk. The people refused to submit ; 
the voievode Shein defended the town so well that 
Sigismund found it necessary to call all Poles to his 
banner. Zapieha very reluctantly left Troitsa and 
joined Sigismund, knowing that in case of victory the 
spoils would now fall to the King of Poland. The 
Russians with the "little Tsar" had no choice but to 
accompany the Poles, and the impostor, deserted, 
sought refuge in flight. Disguised, he went south, and 
later Marina and Mniszek joined him. 

The condition of the nobles and commoners who had 
taken the part of the impostor was pitiable. In despair 
a deputation, headed bySoltikov, waited upon Sigismund 
and said that the Muscovites beat their foreheads in the 
dust before his majesty, and begged that his son Vladislas 
would take the throne of the Tsars, making only one 
condition, namely, that he should become of the ortho- 
dox faith. A compact was made between Sigismund 
and the delegates, by which, under certain conditions, 
Vladislas was to succeed to the throne of Muscovy. 

In the meantime Michael Skopin-Shooiski died in 
the hour of his victories. His uncles were accused of 


The Story of Moscow 

having poisoned him. When, at last, Dmitri Shooiski 
went out against Sigismund, he was beaten by Jolkievski 
and betrayed by the leader of the foreign regiment. 
The Poles then marched on to Moscow, and thither- 
ward also came the impostor with a fresh following, 
thinking the town would choose him in preference to 
Vladislas. Moscow was in uproar ; the inhabitants 
knew not what to do. On one hand the proclamation 
of Jolkievski promised peace, abundance, and prosperity ; 
on the other, the impostor with more specious promises 
held fast those who had already paid court to him. Some 
suggested that neither candidate should be accepted, but 
a new Tsar elected by the people. Matters drifted on 
until the iyth July 1609 when, after the result of a 
meeting at Serphukov became known, the boyards and 
citizens together most humbly requested Vasili Shooiski 
to abdicate, because " he caused Christian blood to be 
shed and was not successful in his government." He 
retired to his private dwelling and subsequently became 
a monk in the Chudov Monastery. 

When the boyards had to choose between the Pole 
and the impostor, some wished to restore Shooiski to 
power. For the time being the Council was content to 
enforce an oath of fealty to it, and to await the coming 
of Jolkievski, then at Mojaisk. 

Sigismund had determined upon securing the throne 
for himself, and Jolkievski had a difficult part to play. 
The Russians elected an embassy to Sigismund ; it con- 
sisted of those who were most likely to oppose the 
Polish supremacy : then, the better to guard against the 
impostor, the Poles were requested to garrison the 
Kremlin. The dissidents were thus got out of the 
town, and the key to the stronghold of the empire was 
given into the hands of the Poles. The Muscovites pro- 
gressed so slowly with their negotiations that Jolkievski 
left Gonsievski in command and returned to Smolensk, 
i O2 

The Troublous Times 

taking Shooiski with him. The Patriarch alone remained 
inexorable. He protested against the Polish occupa- 
tion and refused all attempts at compromise. More, he 
was unceasing in his attempts to awaken the Muscovites 
to their duty, to their religion, their country and them- 
selves. His attitude was most irritating to the boyards 
favouring the Poles and to the officers of the garrison, 
for the indomitable prelate, deprived of the wherewithal 
to write, called out loudly to the people to revolt. The 
boyard Soltikov, enraged by his repeated refusals to sign 
the submission, struck at him with a dagger, but the cross 
of the prelate warded off the blow. "The cross is my 
only weapon that I have against thee, cursed one ! " he 
called, and the garrison did their best to prevent the 
people from entering the cathedral to hear him. Cast 
in prison, he still found means to inflame the populace. 

The "little Tsar," after the alliance between the Poles 
and Muscovites was accomplished, withdrew to Kaluga. 
Soon afterwards he was murdered ; he left Marina and 
a son, but neither now were of importance to Russia. 

Sigismund wanted Smolensk reunited to Poland ; 
the delegates wanted Vladislas in Moscow at once. 
Sigismund delayed. He tried what he could do with 
Smolensk ; when the secretary Tomila was asked if he 
would surrender the town, he answered, " If I were 
to do it, not only would God and Muscovites curse 
me, but the earth would open and swallow me." 
Others were not so honest. The King was besieged 
by applicants for favours and rewards in return for 
services rendered, or to be rendered. In the Kremlin, 
the boyards denounced each other to the commandant, 
Galitzin and Vorontski were arrested ; others lost 
what little prestige remained to them. 

Hermogen succeeded in getting two letters circulated ; 
both were calls to the faithful to rise against the Poles. 
They excited indignation, and at last Liapunov started 


The Story of Moscow 

out from Riazan with an army and arrived before 
Moscow. The Poles besought Hermogen to order 
this force to disperse. He refused and defied the 
Poles to do their worst. 

In 1611 matters quickly became worse. As long 
as Jolkievski was in the Kremlin, Russians and Poles 
were at peace with each other, but Gonsievski was not 
so successful. Some Poles were so foolish as to 
mock the orthodox worshippers, and although severely 
punished, the circumstance roused the Muscovites to 
action. There were several riots, but these were 
quelled, and the measures the Poles took to ensure 
their own safety irritated the citizens still more. 
Hatred increased day by day ; the position of the 
Poles became critical. As Holy Week approached, 
Gonsievski fearing trouble forbade the usual cere- 
monies. This so offended the people that he was 
forced to give way. The critical period passed 
with one or two unimportant risings, when suddenly 
a quarrel broke out with the carters, who had been 
asked to haul cannons into position and had refused. 
Soon the fighting became general in the town. Prince 
Pojarski, with the advance guard of the Russian army, 
had just arrived on the Sretenka when the Poles and 
Germans fell ruthlessly upon the citizens. The 
massacre lasted an hour or more, some seven thousand 
being killed. The alarm bells were ringing, and the 
crowd at last was chased from the Kitai Gorod 
when the Poles who followed further were driven 
back by the cannon of Pojarski. The Poles and 
foreigners had then to entrench themselves and, to 
clear the neighbourhood, the Poles fired the town. 
The conflagration spread rapidly and lasted three days. 
The Russians abandoned the burning town ; the Bielo 
Gorod was destroyed, and much of the Kitai Gorod 
also ; the dwellings and warehouses of the foreign 
I0 4 

'The Troublous Times 

merchants were consumed, and the "English factory" 
lost several of its members. Some went into the 
cellars and were suffocated, the survivors made a dash 
for the Kremlin, and were helped over the wall by 
the Poles, where their position was precarious, for they 
were amidst a town in flames in a foreign country, 
among a people in revolt against the garrison. Some 
vestiges of this fire are still found occasionally when 
excavating old vaults full of charred wood and 
burned bricks whilst the wall of the Kitia Gorod 
itself is said to bear evidence in several places of the 
fire that for days raged round it, and vitrified the 
bricks and tiles of its battlements and machecoules. 
When the news of the disaster in Moscow reached Sigis- 
mund he sent the delegates and hostages as prisoners 
to Marienburg. Shortly afterwards Smolensk capitu- 
lated : the brave Shein was tortured for holding out so 
long, then Sigismund returned to Warsaw and led the 
ex-Tsar Shooiski in triumph through the streets. He 
delayed in hastening needed reinforcements to the 
besieged garrison in the Kremlin of Moscow, counting 
those that reached it during the conflagration sufficient. 

During Easter week Liapunov arrived ; he was 
closely followed by Zarutski with Don- Cossacks and 
Prince Troubetskoi with the levies from Kaluga. The 
Russian forces camped on the ashes of the Bielo Gorod 
and, if the leaders had been united and vigilant, success 
might have been theirs. Day by day the situation 
became more dangerous for the beleaguered Poles 
obliged to make frequent sorties for food, and losing 
men on each occasion. Zapieha made an attempt to 
relieve the garrison but failed ; the 100,000 Russians 
round the Kremlin kept him away, but themselves 
were unable to carry the fortress by assault and too 
lax to starve the enemy out. 

Gonsievski did well. Threats failing to move the 


'The Story of Moscow 

stubborn Hermogen, a letter was written to the leader 
of the Cossacks to the effect that Liapunov intended 
to ruin them. They treacherously killed him ; the 
cause of Russia seemed lost, for there was no longer 
a leader in whom all could trust, but impostors and 
intriguers beyond count. The Cossacks determined 
to fight for their own hand ; the nobles and boyards 
held aloof, save those with the Poles in the Kremlin. 
Zapieha revictualled the garrison ; Sweden threatened 
Novgorod, and called the heir-apparent Tsar of Russia ; 
a fresh usurper found a following at Pskov ; Cossacks, 
Poles and brigands of different nationalities overran the 
country, pillaged towns and burned villages, and during 
that winter of 1611-12 food was so scarce that "men 
devoured each other." There was no Sovereign re- 
cognised, no chief authority, no law. From time to 
time the Archimandrite Denis, and his able seconder 
Abraham Palitizin, sent letters to the different towns 
urging the people to rise, retake Moscow, and save 
the holy relics. Hermogen was starving imprisoned 
in the Kremlin ; the Poles allowed the ex-patriarch 
Ignatius to act in his stead. Moscow was powerless. 
The other towns commenced to govern themselves and 
to raise local forces for their own protection. 

The high priest Sabbas made a stirring appeal to 
the people to unite and deliver their fatherland. His 
eloquence moved the citizens of Nijni-Novgorod to 
tears. He called on the faithful " to assert their unity, 
join together to defend the pure and true religion of 
Christ, free the holy cathedral of the Blessed Virgin, 
and recover the sainted remains of the miracle workers 
of Moscow." 

An elder of the province, one Cosma Minin, by trade 

a butcher, exhorted his neighbours to initiate the rising. 

His appeal was, " Orthodox ! If we wish to save our 

country, do not fear to sacrifice our goods, to sell our 

1 06 

The Troublous Times 

possessions, aye, even to pledge our wives and children 
if need be, and find a commander faithful to our religion 
and capable of leading us, then will victory be ours ! " 

The most suitable leader seemed to Minin to be the 
Prince Pojarski who had fought at Moscow and been 
wounded in the fray. He lived near by on his estate 
in Suzdal, and to him Minin went and offered the 
command of the volunteering peasants. Pojarski had 
shown no strong partisanship, had sought favours of 
no one, and was willing to fight for the general good. 
These provincials were undoubtedly in earnest; a three 
days' fast was enjoined and made obligatory for all, 
even suckling babes. When the troops began to gather 
together, in the spring of 1612, the Poles and boyards 
in the Kremlin became desperate, and once more 
ordered Hermogen to command the leaders to disperse 
their forces. He refused ; and in the days of dire 
necessity that followed he died, starved to death, and 
was buried within the Chudov Monastery. 

Prince Pojarski advanced very slowly towards 
Moscow : it appeared to be that he was waiting for 
an assembly general at Yaroslavl to elect a tsar, fearing 
without a sovereign the Russian provincial troops would 
not act together against so many enemies, native and 

The garrison of the Kremlin, now commanded by 
Struss, was ill-provisioned. The Cossacks had retired 
to the south-east, Zarutski's intention being to beat up 
reinforcements and re-attack with the followers of the 
" little Tsar " and secure the throne for Marina and 
her son. From the west, Khodkevich came with re- 
inforcements and provisions to the relief of Struss. 
Pojarski arrived on the 1 8th August, but was separated 
from Troubetskoi. On the 2ist August Khodkevich 
arrived on that side of the town guarded by Pojarski, 
whose troops therefore were the first to be attacked. 


The Story of Moscow 

On the 23rd the poles and Pojarski engaged in a fierce 
battle. Later Troubetskoi led his men also against the 
Poles, and with him went a part of the Cossack army. 
Khodkevich was driven back, but fought stubbornly. 
The next day he renewed his attempt to reach the 
Kremlin. Pojarski begged Troubetskoi to join forces, 


and Abraham Politzin persuaded the Cossacks to assist 
in defeating the Polish relief. Attacked on both sides 
simultaneously, Khodkevich retreated from the com- 
manding position he had occupied ; then the sudden 
appearance of Minin, with a few hundred peasants who 
1 08 

The Troublous Times 

fought most savagely, turned the retreat into a rout, and 
the Polish treasure fell into the hands of the Cossacks. 
After this victory Pojarski and Troubetskoi joined 
forces and formed a provisional administration. The 
defenders of the Kremlin were in despair. They were 
short of food and ammunition, and the fact that 300 
Poles had forced their way through the Russian ranks 
and joined the garrison -was in no way advantageous. 
Soon they deserted the Kitai Gorod and took refuge 
in the Kremlin, holding it a month longer in hope that 
relief would reach them. The usual horrors of a long 
siege were manifest; not only did they devour every- 
thing that was eatable, but even gnawed at their own 
flesh and disinterred corpses. The boyards with their 
wives and families were sent out of the Kremlin and 
at last the Poles were compelled by hunger to surrender. 
On the 25th October the Muscovites made their entry 
into the Kremlin, and after much thanksgiving and 
praise, proceeded to the election of a new ruler. 
Sigismund with an army was coming to the relief of 
the Poles, but was unable to subdue the towns on his 
way. His ambassadors to the Muscovites were not 
even received by the victorious leaders. The Swedes 
were informed that no one of their race would be 
elected. Boyards intrigued for Galitzin, for Shooiski, 
and for others. The provincial army was determined 
that there should be a general assembly for the election 
of the Tsar, and the candidate most favoured by all 
classes seemed to be the young Michael Theodorovich 

Old men remembered Anastasia Romanof, the first 
wife of Ivan the Terrible ; younger ones had nothing 
but praise for Philaret, the present head of the family ; 
all pitied the persecutions and hardships its members 
had suffered because of their relationship to the old 
royal line if unanimity was necessary, no candidate 


The Story of Moscow 

had so good a chance of securing it as had the young 
Romanof. On February 2ist, 1613, the electors 
met around the Lobnce Mesto in the Grand Square. 
The crowd shouted lustily for Mikhail Theodorovich 
Romanof, and to the general wish the electors gave the 
only possible expression. By some it is thought that 
the crown was offered to Pojarski who declined it; it 
is a fiction of latter day poets, as are Dmitriev's lines : 

" What what shall be his recompense ? 
Look ! He who made the invaders bleed 
And Moscow and his country freed, 
He modest as courageous he 
Takes the bright garland from his brow, 
And to a youth he bends him now, 
He bends an aged and hero-knee 
< Thou art of royal blood,' he said, 
' Thy father is in our foeman's hand ; 
Wear then this garland on thy head 
And bless O bless, our father-land ! ' " 

The new dynasty was founded, but quite early, if the 
tradition be true, was likely to have been extinguished. 
The Poles on learning the news endeavoured to put the 
young Romanof to death ; an attempt to waylay him 
was frustrated by the heroism of the peasant Sussanin 
who, in the district of Kostroma, gave his " life for the 
Tsar " by leading astray in the forest the murderous 
band searching for him. Historians now say that he 
had no opportunity of so doing, but the fact remains 
that for some service rendered the Romanofs the 
Sussanins for many generations enjoyed rare privileges, 
and if the tale be not true, it has at least resulted in 
the Russians obtaining from the theme their finest opera, 
Glinka's " Life for the Tsar." 

The " time of trouble " for Moscow was not over 
on the appointment of a Tsar, but the Muscovites 
entered upon a very glorious era with a Tsar of their 
own choosing, 

Moscow of the Tsars 

" Mid forests deep the turrets gleaming 
Of Moscow's gorgeous Kremlin stand, 
Beauteous golden-crown ! 
Peerless white-walled town ! " 


VA/RITERS in the west still ignore the history of 
Russia previous to the reign of Peter the Great, 
attributing to that monarch reforms he did not initiate, 
and a policy of which he was not the author and 
followed but indifferently. The real makers of the 
Russian nation were the wise Romanofs who preceded 
the tyrant Peter. The history of the period may be 
briefly recounted, apart from the story of the con- 
struction of the great town the Moscow of the Tsars. 
It was under the Tsar Michael that the relations of 
Russia with the west became general ; under Alexis, 
who succeeded him in 1645, not only were the Poles 
driven back and other enemies conquered, but those 
great social and economic reforms were introduced, 
the working of which subsequently " westernised " 
Russia. Theodore during his short reign of five years 
successfully continued what his father had commenced. 
It was the claims made on behalf of his half-brother 
Peter that caused the hands of the clock to be set 
back. The story of Peter is well known, but its teach- 
ing has been often misinterpreted. To obtain the truth 


The Story of Moscow 

let the Moscow of Theodore Alexeivich be compared 
with the Russia of Peter, or of any of his eighteenth 
century successors. The one exhibits the highest 
normal achievement of purely Muscovite ideals, and 
reveals the capacity of Russia to absorb what is nearest 
akin to its own spirit from among the more progressive 
motives of the west. Peter crudely grafted a coarse 
imitation of western forms upon a rarer stock ; stagnation 
and corruption were the result. It was not until the 
nineteenth century, and the complete abandonment of 
Peter's policy, that Russia once more advanced towards 

A country devastated by foreign invaders and 
surrounded with bitter and relentless enemies ; a 
territory wasted by internecine warfare ; the cinders 
of a capital ; an empty treasury ; a famished and 
pestilent ridden people such was the gift of the 
electors in 1613 to Michael Theodorovich Romanof, 
a boy of sixteen, whose mother was in a convent and 
father in a foreign prison. No wonder that he hesitated, 
and that his friends urged prudence. The people were 
honest, and Michael exacted proofs of their earnestness. 
Slowly he advanced towards Moscow, urging his 
subjects to prepare suitable apartments for himself 
and his mother in the spoiled ruins of the Kremlin, 
to store afresh the warehouses with provisions and 
replenish the treasury. The boyards answered that 
they had already prepared the palace of Ivan for 
himself, and a suite in the convent of the Ascension 
for his mother, but it was impossible to restore the 
Golden Palace and terem of the Tsaritsa Irene, for 
there was no money, carpenters were lacking, the 
buildings roofless, and the stairs, corridors, doors, 
windows, and all furnishings were no longer in ex- 
istence ; it would be necessary to rebuild, and time 
pressed. Michael was not satisfied ; the palaces must 


Moscow of the Tsars 

be made fit for habitation, if materials were lacking 
those of other buildings must be used, and as for the 
apartments in the convent, " it will not suit my mother 
to occupy them." Ultimately the Tsar's behests were 
executed, and in May he made his state entry, more 
than two months after his election to the throne. 

Both at home and abroad his position was regarded 
as precarious. Zarutski, who had with him Marina 
Mniszek, the widow of the false Dmitri, and her son, 
held Kazan and ruled the districts bordering the Volga. 
He was ultimately captured, and executed in Moscow. 
Marina and her son were also taken ; according to 
native writers she "died in prison of chagrin" ; accord- 
ing to foreigners in Russia at that time, she and her son 
were thrust beneath the ice on the river Oka. Sweeden 
continued the war, and would not relinquish her claim 
to the throne. It terminated after Gustavus Adolphus 
was repulsed at Pskov, and failed to take Narva. A 
Swedish officer states that " from their youth up, the 
Muscovites are inured to continuous labour and much 
fasting, and can make shift long with meal, salt and 
water only. They hold it to be a deadly and un- 
pardonable sin to surrender a fortress, and prefer to die 
happily for their Tsar and country." The Swedes 
contemplated a long siege, but by the good offices 
of the Dutch and English an armistice of three months 
was agreed to, and in 1617 a lasting peace concluded on 
terms disadvantageous to Russia. An army of Poles 
was marching upon Moscow, when it was re-inforced 
by Ronashevich-Salidachni at the head of 20,000 
Cossacks ; Michael repulsed their attack on Moscow, 
but, anxious to secure his father's release, agreed to 
relinquish Smolensk, so a peace to endure fourteen 
years and six months was thereupon made. Im- 
mediately after his coronation the Tsar sent envoys to 
England, Germany and the Netherlands, seeking their 

H 113 

The Story of Moscow 

assistance in securing peace. The English promised 
a loan of ; 100,000 and paid 16,000 roubles only 
towards it ; but King James prevented Scots taking 
service in Poland against Russia, and the Tsar obtained 
his munitions of war from the English factory at 
Archangel. In such fashion was a respite obtained, so 
that undivided attention might be given to establishing 
good order within the Tsar's Empire. Surely no ruler 
started with greater disadvantages than did Michael. 
To the inexperience of youth must be added a lack of 
competent advisers. The old hereditary aristocracy 
had for the most part disappeared ; those members who 
survived had taken sides with either the second im- 
postor or the Poles, and in them he dared not trust. 
There remained only appointed military and civil 
officers, boyards, whose titles were not hereditary, 
secretaries, and gentlemen of the council. In Russia, 
where there was no general instruction and little learn- 
ing, all was left to a governing caste, composed of men 
who, from their noble birth, had the entree to the 
court and were conversant with all affairs of state ; 
it was this " caste " Michael lacked. The men, able 
men, who were not accustomed to rule, did not seek 
responsible posts. Even Pojarski, the saviour of the 
country, said to Vasili Galitzin, " If we had found such 
a leader as you, Vasili Vasilievich, all the country 
would have at once flocked to you, and it would not 
have devolved upon me to direct so onerous a task." 
The times of trouble had forced simple citizens to 
occupy positions of importance ; such were the butcher 
Cosma Minin, Zarutski, Troubetskoi, Liapunov and 
Fedka Andronov. To none of the humble born 
leaders were the degenerate nobles prepared to grant 
precedence or even equality ; whilst on the other hand, 
affairs of state could no longer be entrusted to those 
who had betrayed the country, or by past conduct, 

Moscow of the Tsars 

proved themselves incapable. Squabbles for precedence 
at once recommenced. 

When Dmitri Mikhailovich Pojarksi, the great 
liberator, was created a boyard, one Gabriel Pushkin 
threw himself at the Tsar's feet and pleaded that the 
thing might not be, for " his own family was in no 
way inferior to that of Pojarski," who, as boyard, 
would be appointed a higher place than he himself 
occupied at court. These nobles could not, or would 
not, understand that services to the state should be 
considered. Birth alone was to count, for these nobles 
to remain side by side with a person of inferior birth 
was considered an ignominy to which death itself was 
preferable. On the occasion of the Tsar's coronation, 
there were several disputes for priority of place, not- 
withstanding that the Tsar had ordered that during the 
ceremonies all ranks were to be discarded. Before 
the coronation, in the palace of the Golden Seal 
Prince Tretiakov, the secretary, nominated those who 
were to bear the regalia. " Prince Mstislavski will 
throw the golden coins upon the Tsar ; the new 
boyard, Ivan Nikitich Romanof, will carry the crown of 
Monomachus ; Prince Dmitri Troubetskoi, the sceptre ; 
the new boyard, Prince Pojarski, the globe ! ' ' 
Troubetskoi took offence that he had to cede his place 
to a Romanof, albeit a relative of his sovereign. The 
Tsar answered, " It may be that your rank is higher 
than that of Ivan, but he is my uncle, and you must 
give place to him at a time when the order of rank is 
not to be observed." This appeased Troubetskoi, 
but later, one Boris Likof, invited to the table of 
the Tsar, would not cede his place until the Tsar 
personally intervened. On the next occasion he failed 
to attend, although the Tsar twice sent for him. Each 
time he sent the same answer, " I am ready to yield my 
life on the scaffold, but allow a Romanof to take preced- 


T'he Story of Moscow 

ence of a Likof I will not!" Sometimes these quarrels 
embarrassed the Tsar on occasions of state, as when, at 
the reception of the Persian envoys, his body-guard dis- 
appeared. One hid himself away so quickly that he could 
not be found ; another feigned indisposition ; another was 
dragged into the presence coupled with Prince Romo- 
danovski ; Cherchugov complained of Romodanovski, 
and Prince Pojarski also took offence, and upbraided 
Cherchugov for dishonouring his rank by his alliance with 
Romodanovski. The Tsar ordered Cherchugov to be 
beaten, and determined to avoid such annoyances in future 
by choosing his bodyguard from among the lesser nobles, 
who could not plead the privileges of their ancestors. 
When Telepnef and Larionof were appointed, one at 
once took offence and pointed out to the Tsar that he 
was a freeman of Moscow, whereas the other was but 
a secretary ! Such were the earlier troubles of the 
boy-Tsar, who longed for the advice of his father in 
such matters of trifling importance ; he, on his return to 
Moscow, ruled the court with commanding adroitness. 
This matter of precedence came to the front again 
in the next reign, when Alexis settled it once and for 
all. Hereditary rank was based upon the achievements 
of one's ancestors, which, with the titles and honours 
of the successful, were enumerated in the manuscript- 
books treasured by each family. In practice no noble 
would accept an office inferior to that occupied by his 
illustrious forefathers. Often incapable as military 
leaders, this meant ruin to the state. Alexis, after suf- 
ficient experience of the disasters the system entailed, 
proposed the abolition of hereditary rank, and petitioned 
the Church to pronounce upon his finding that " pre- 
cedence was an institution invented by the devil, for the 
purpose of destroying Christian love and of increasing 
the hatred of brother for brother." In due course the 
Patriarch declared that in the opinion of the Church, 

Moscow of the T'sars 

" precedence was a system opposed to God, and 
intended to cause confusion and hatred." Thereupon 


the nobles were commanded to deliver up their " golden 
books of honour and great deeds," and the records 
were burned, so that henceforth precedence depended 
upon court and military rank alone. 


The Story of Moscow 

When Michael ascended the throne the two most 
powerful factions of the nobility were those headed 
respectively by the Miloslavksis and the Soltikovs, 
between whom no love was lost. To obtain greater 
influence and power they intrigued for the marriage of 
the Tsar. Michael's choice was one Marie Kholopov, 
to whom he was betrothed. Before marriage she was 
drugged at the instigation of the Soltikovs, and her 
illness represented as incurable. She, and all her 
relatives, were then banished to Siberia for " attempt- 
ing to deceive the Tsar," and remained in exile seven 
years, when the Patriarch discovered the intrigue. 
This resulted in the fall of the Soltikovs from power, 
and the return of the Khlopovs to Nijni-Novgorod. 
Michael next chose Marie Dolgoruki, but she died a 
few months after marriage, and twelve, months later, 
Michael was urged to marry again. The earlier 
method of selecting a bride was resorted to upon this 
occasion, and the Tsar's intention made known through- 
out the empire. According to S. W. Glinka what 
took place is as follows : 

" On the morrow the Tsar was to make known publicly 
whom he had chosen as his bride. That evening the carriages 
of the palace brought to his residence the marriageable daughters 
of all the noble and illustrious families who had gathered in 
Moscow for this election. These young ladies of high degree 
all wore the vestments provided by the Tsar, and were accom- 
panied by their mothers, or a near relative. In turn they were 
presented to the Tsar's mother, Martha Ivanovna, and the 
mothers and relatives then returned to their homes ; the young 
ladies, attended by their maids remained, and donned the 
nightdresses they had brought with them. The chambers 
to which they were appointed contained two rows of beds. 
Towards midnight, the Tsar, accompanied by his mother, went 
in to examine the candidates. The scrutiny finished, he 
returned to his own apartments, and his mother anxiously 
inquired upon whom his choice had fallen. To her surprise, 
Michael indicated the maid of one of the ladies. Martha 
Ivanovna could not believe her ears. She earnestly begged her 


Moscow of the Tsars 

son to reflect, before offending the pride and dignity of the 
princes, nobles and boyards by such a choice. Then she 
asked a definite answer, for, before the sun rose, it would have 
to be declared officially, before the Patriarch and the clergy 
assembled in the cathedral of the Assumption for that purpose. 
Michael answered, ' I have obeyed you and the will of God in 
accepting the crown. Never have I dared to act contrary to 
your wishes. You have always been my counsellor and my 
support: T will do as you wish . . . but . . . but . . . never 
. . . never . . . will I choose another ; nor love anyone else. 
It is my fate to be unhappy ! I lost my wife a few months 
after my marriage now, to-day, I am deprived of the bride 
of my choice. She is of humble birth ; perhaps she is poor ; 
may be, unhappy. But I also have suffered -I too have been 
persecuted ! ' and the Tsar burst into tears. Martha Ivanovna 
could not resist this appeal. ' My son, my son 1 ' she cried, 
'have I not suffered as well? My husband languishing in 
exile ; the murderous swords of cruel enemies directed towards 
you ! Heaven has protected you, has chosen you to rule this 
realm. May the will of God be done ! I will not thwart 
your desire. Take for wife the one whom you have chosen.' 

" Thereupon Martha Ivanovna at once sought out what she 
could respecting the young girl her son had noticed. She was 
informed that her name was Eudoxia, the daughter of Lucian 
Stephanovich Striechnef, a poor gentleman of Mojaisk, and 
herself a distant relative of the lady in whose service she was. 
Just as her mistress was haughty, proud and overbearing, so 
was the maid docile and modest. Michael himself had had 
to bear oppression. Ill-treatment he hated. He felt for 
Eudoxia, and chose her because she was ill-used. 

"Then Eudoxia was led into the Tsar's apartments, was 
richly clothed, and presented with jewels. Martha Ivanovna 
called her daughter, and the Tsar himself called God to witness 
that she was his bride. The Patriarch, Philaret, gave his 
blessing to his son, both as father and as head of the church. 
The clergy prayed that the pride of the wicked might be 
humbled and the virtuous protected. The citizens were pleased 
and shouted ' Long live Michael and Eudoxia ! ' and there was 
general rejoicing. Then the daughters of the princes, and 
nobles, and boyards, were presented to Eudoxia and made 
their homage. In her confusion and modesty she would not 
allow them to kiss her hand, but cordially embraced each maid. 
When it came to the turn of her own relation, the frightened 
girl threw herself at the feet of Eudoxia and begged for mercy 
and pardon. Eudoxia bent down and said, ' You also forgive 


The Story of Moscow 

me! if in any way I have offended.' Forthwith the lovers 
were formally betrothed, and, as all the world knows, Michael 
married Eudoxia, and they lived happy ever afterwards." 

Another story, quite as like a fairy tale as this is, 
concerns itself with Eudoxia's father, whom the am- 
bassadors of the Tsar found at the plough. Lucian 
was not surprised at his daughter's good fortune ; he 
saw in it only the hand of Providence. When he for- 
sook his thatched cottage for a suite in the palace, he 
carried away with him his old clothes and other things, 
which he hung on the wall of his new apartment, and 
each morning uncovered them that he might not forget 
his origin, and be mindful of the workers and the poor. 
He lived for many years within the Kremlin, saw 
Eudoxia's son, Alexis, upon the throne, and found 
himself an honoured member of his own grandson's 
household, and surrounded by his daughter's numerous 
royal grandchildren. 

The next occasion that offered for the intrigues of 
those who sought court influence through a matrimonial 
alliance was in 1647 when Alexis, the son of Michael 
and Eudoxia, resolved to marry. Of the two hundred 
noble maids assembled for his selection he chose 
Euphemia Vsevolojski, who had enemies. These 
arranged their plans with her maids-of-honour. When 
she was attired in the royal robes, her attendants twisted 
her hair so tightly that she swooned in the Tsar's pre- 
sence, and the Court physician declared her to be 
epileptic. She and her family were thereupon banished 
to far away Tiumen in Siberia. The next year Alexis 
married Marie Ilyinichna Miloslavski, who bore him 
thirteen children, and died in childbed in 1669. In 
his next marriage Alexis observed the letter of the 
customary proceeding but disregarded its spirit. At 
that time his chief counsellor was Artemon Sergievich 
Matviev, a man who had commanded a foreign regiment 


Moscow of the Tsars 

in the wars and married Mary Hamilton, one of a 
Scotch family resident in Moscow. Matviev had no 
daughter, but living with the family was Natalia 
Naryshkin, the daughter of Cyril Naryshkin, whose 
brother Theodore had married a Hamilton, the niece of 
Matviev's wife. Matviev made his house as attractive 
as he could to the Tsar, giving western entertainments, 
even to the performance of comedies and tragedies in 
his private theatre. Western manners prevailed among 
them ; his wife dressed in what were called " German " 
clothes, and both she and her ward appeared at table 
although strangers might be present. When the Tsar 
visited Matviev, Natalia, a tall, shapely brunette, her- 
self served him with vodka and zakuska. One day the 
Tsar informed Matviev that he would find a husband 
for this charming ward ; and, when the nobles were 
ordered to assemble their daughters, Natalia also re- 
ceived a command to attend at the palace. It was all 
prearranged, but to allay suspicion a second assembly 
was convened, and a final one after an interval of three 
weeks. When it became known that Natalia had been 
chosen, there was loud outcry, and anonymous letters 
reached the Tsar. These accused Matviev of sorcery 
and other dark crimes, and alleged misdemeanour on 
the part of Natalia. There was the usual investiga- 
tion ; the customary torture ; and postponement of 
the marriage for nine months. On January the 22nd 
1671 the ceremony was performed with great pomp, 
and Matviev that day appointed a member of the State 
Council as recompense " for the sufferings he had under- 
gone in connection with the affair." Sixteen months 
later May 3Oth 1672 Peter the Great was born. 

Natalia Naryshkin was of Tartar descent, but her 
training was western, and as tsaritsa she was able to 
free some of the "twenty-seven locks" with which 
the "terem" was guarded. With the accession of 


the Romanofs there was a strong reaction from the 
licence of the days of the impostors, a reaction which 


the all powerful Philaret as patriarch did his utmost 
to foster. Natalia was required to conform to the 
rules made on behalf of former tsaritsas, but she 
succeeded in going openly to church with her husband, 

Moscow of the Tsars 

saw plays through a latticed window, and the state 
reception of foreign ambassadors from a screened loge. 
In so short a time she accomplished much, but in 
1676 her husband died, and she retired with her 
children to a palace near the foreign suburb of Moscow, 
and there the young prince, Peter, was raised amid 
rough surroundings, for the Matvievs were exiled and 
Natalia barely tolerated so near the Kremlin. 

Theodore II. was most scholarly of the early Tsars ; 
he was educated by Polish teachers, and, during his 
short reign the first public schools in Moscow were 
founded under his patronage. He separated the 
military from the civil departments ; in military matters 
abolished precedence, and so altered legal procedure 
as to bring justice within reach of the people. He 
built the episcopal Palace of the Monastery of St Cyril 
at the Krutitski Vorot, and was particularly active in 
adding to the beautiful churches of Moscow. To him 
is due that gem of Muscovite ecclesiastical architecture, 
the church of the Nativity and Flight, in the Mala 
Dmitrovka (T>. page 181 ). With an eye for the pictur- 
esque, he laid out a pleasure-garden in the Kremlin and 
another on the river front by making a vaulted embank- 
ment. Further away the slopes towards the river 
were planted with ornamental trees ; medicinal herbs 
were largely cultivated, and the first hot-houses appeared 
in Moscow. Private dwellings in the Kremlin were 
demolished to afford accomodation for public buildings, 
and particularly for homes for the aged and sick, for 
the Tsar resembled his father and grandfather in his 
care of those who had served him, and in well-doing 
he was tireless. He disliked pomp and ceremony, 
restricted the ordinary citizens of noble birth to two 
horses in their carriages, and reduced the number used 
by others on State occasions ; from his ascent to the 
throne the court pageantry declined. 


The Story of Moscow 

In the seventeenth century almost the whole of the 
Kremlin was occupied with buildings appertaining 
either to the state or the superior clergy. The 
churches are still sufficiently in evidence, but such of 
the old dwellings as remain have to be approached 
through more recent buildings. The Granovitaia 
(Facetted) Palace of Ivan III. (1491) presents a 
facade to the Sobornia Ploshchad, but this in no 
way reveals its antiquity. The constant renewal of 
the exterior which is indispensable to preservation in 
the destructive climate of Moscow, to some extent 
accounts for this ; and the " terem," the outside of 
which may be viewed from the quadrangle on which 
stands the old church " Spass na Boru," is equally 
disappointing in this particular. Even to see the 
interiors the visitors must pass through the Great 
Palace, with which these old dwellings are now in- 
corporated. The site occupied by the eastern end of 
the Great Palace is that upon which, from the founding 
of Moscow, the residences of its rulers have been 
again and again erected, but they faced the east, not 
south. The wooden palaces of the early Romanofs 
have entirely disappeared ; Peter the Great removed 
from Moscow whatever would serve to enrich his 
new capital, and allowed the old royal residences to 
decay. It is during the present century only that 
they have been restored to their earlier grandeur. 
The palace built by the Empress Elizabeth, and 
occupied by Napoleon, was destroyed by the fire of 

The visitor will first procure a billet d? admission at 
the Chamberlain's office in Commandant Street (see 
plan), turn to the left on leaving the building, and 
walking towards the south, at the end of the street 
pass under the Winter Garden which connects the 
Treasury with the Great Palace. He will then be 



-Entrances ..... -Footpaths 

Nicholas Gate 

Redeemer Gate 

Secret Gate 

Borovitski Gate 

Trinity Gate 


Cathedral of the Assumption 

,, ,, Archangels 

,, Annunciation 

Granovitaya Falace 
Grand Palace 

St Saviours in the Wood 
Ch. of the Holy Vestments 
Ch. of St Saviour behind the Golden Gates 
Ch. of the Nativity of the Virgin 
Ch. of St Lazarus 
Ch. of the Resurrection 
Ch. of St Catherine the Martyr 
Ch of the Apostles 
The Synod 

Ch. of John the Baptist 
Ch. of the Annunciation 
Ch. of Coustantine and Helen 
Chudov Monastery 

Convent of Ascension 

Pleasure Palace 


Tsarevich's Appartments 

Place of the Boyards 

Grand Entrance 

Ch. of St Alexis 

Cathedral Square 

Tsar's Square 

Monument to Alexander II. 

Alarm Bell 

Tsarina's Tower 

Towerol Constantino and Helen 


Water Tower 

Ch. of St Michael 

Ch. of Acsension 

Ch. of the Miracles 

Hall of Catherine II. 

Ch. of St Catherine 

Ch. of St Peter and Paul 

Ch. of St Philip 

Senate Square 

State Court-yard 

Arsenal Tower 

Moscow of the Tsars 

in the State Courtyard ; on the left a gateway com- 
municates with the quadrangle in which is the old 
church " Spass na Boru ; " the last door on the right 
is the public entrance to the Treasury. Traversing 
the courtyard and turning to the left he will reach 
the grand entrance of the Great Palace and enter 
there. Passing from the vestibule by the escalier 
d'honneur the Hall of St George will be reached. 
It contains sixteen allegorical groups commemorative 
of the conquests by Russia of Perm, Kazan, Siberia, 
Kamchatka, Tartary, the Caucasus, etc. The military 
order of St George was founded by the Empress 
Catherine II. in 1769, but the effigy of St George, 
on his white horse, slaying the Dragon, as already 
mentioned is of Norse origin and was the device used by 
Yaroslaf the Great in the eleventh century and definitely 
adopted as the arms of the principality of Moscow by 
Dmitri after his victory over the Tartars at Kulikova 
(1380); it figured on the coins, and April 23 (old 
style) this Saint's day, is observed throughout Russia. 
The names inscribed on the wall are those of the 
individuals admitted to the order, and of the regiments 
likewise decorated ; in short, this Hall of St George 
Pobiedonosets (the Conqueror) is the Russian Valhalla. 
The adjoining Hall of Alexander Nevski, is remarkable 
apart from its richness and beauty, for the six pictures 
by Miiller illustrating the chief events in the life of the 
Saint : beyond is the Throne room Griffins, the device 
of the Romanofs, conspicuous in the decorations and 
next the Hall of St Catherine, the state room of the 
Tsaritsa. The older palaces will be reached directly 
from the Hall of St Vladimir, or, after passing through 
the personal apartments of the Tsar, by the Holy Cor- 
ridor, so named because there the clergy attend to 
conduct the Tsar to state services in the Cathedrals. 
It dates from the reign of Ivan III. ( i 5th cent.) and 


The Story of Moscow 

is, in short, a continuation of that terrace which fronts 
the eastern side of the Great Palace, and has its 
counterpart in the principal approach to every old- 
fashioned Russian house. The 
Krasnoe Kriltso how hateful the 
vulgar, and absolutely incorrect, 
translation, "Red Steps!" is 
simply the state entrance to 
the reception rooms, in con- 
tradistinction to the Post- 
yelnre Kriltso (Back stairs) 
or private entrance, com- 
'jf| municating with the personal 
apartments of the sovereign, 
or boyard. To comprehend 
the importance of the Terem 
rightly, it must be remembered 
that actually the state apartments 
of the sovereign were where the 
Great Palace now is, and that this 
corridor served both as a rendez- 
vous for courtiers and the Tsar's way of communication 
from his private to his official suites. Another staircase, 
to which the boyards had not access, led directly from 
the inner court, near the Postyelnoe Kriltso, to the 
Terem. The state suite in the seventeenth century 
comprised : an audience chamber (the middle Golden 
Palace) ; a smaller Golden Palace, once the audience 
chamber of the Tsaritsa ; the Stolovia Izba, or saloon 
for fetes ; the Krestavia, for the celebration of solemn 
ceremonies by the clergy and household ; the Otvietna 
Palace, where illustrious visitors were entertained ; and 
the Higher Golden Palace, a council chamber for the 
consideration of grave questions of state. For most 
of these purposes the buildings still in existence have 
served temporarily at different periods. 


Moscow of the Tsars 

Descending seven steps from this corridor, the Palace 
of the Tsaritsa Irene, or lesser Golden Palace, is 
entered. Sneguirev is of opinion that this was originally 
the apartment of the Archbishop. The Slavonic 
inscription over the portal is merely to the effect that 
the decorations were made by order of Tsar Alexis 
Mikhailovich, and restored on the coronation of the 
Emperor Paul. It was here that in 1653 the Tsaritsa 
Marie Ilyinichna received the Tsaritsa of Georgia, and 
later the Tsaritsa Natalia Kyrilevna received the homage 
of the Princes of Kasimof and Siberia. On the vaulted 
roof are representations of Olga's journey to Constanti- 
nople, Helena obtaining the true cross, the Council 
convened by the Emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast, 
and portraits of the Tsaritsas, Irene, Theodora, Sophia, 
and Olga. A vaulted corridor leads to an entrance 
from the square behind the Uspenski Sobor. It is 
called the " Passage of the Patriarchs " from the seven 
portraits of the Russian Patriarchs which adorn the walls. 

Almost upon a level with the Holy Corridor is the 
entrance to the Old Church of the Nativity of the 
Virgin, immediately below which is the Chapel of the 
Resurrection of St Lazarus (see page 45), the oldest 
existing building in Moscow. It is only an obscure 
crypt, but in one of the round pillars, facing the 
ikonastas is a niche which probably served as the loge 
of the reigning prince. The entrance with an old 
inscription was but recently discovered. The Church 
of the Nativity of the Virgin, dates from i 393, when 
the Tsaritsa Eudoxia, wife of Dmitri Donskoi, erected 
the first structure on the side of the older Church of 
St Lazarus. It was destroyed by lightning in 1414, 
burned in 1473, fell in 1480, and in 1514 was rebuilt 
by Vasili Ivanovich, and probably again reconstructed 
early in the seventeenth century. It then became one 
of the churches of the palace, and has remained the 


The Story of Moscow 

particular church of the Tsaritsas. The old stoves 
are of an ancient Russian model ; according to tradition 
the Tsaritisas in bygone days were placed upon one of 
these stoves during their confinements. The ikonostas 
was injured in 1812, but has been restored and some 
of the ikons are richly decorated with rubies and other 
gems of great value. 

Above the lesser Golden Palace is a chapel of small 
dimensions, known commonly as the " Cathedral of Our 
Saviour behind the Golden Gates," actually dedicated 
to " Our Saviour on High " ( Verkhospasski) ; its other 
name is due to the fact that the entrance to it is on the 
far, or private, side of the gilt wicket that barred the 
entrance to the Terem. It was built in 1635 by t ^ ie 
Bajenko Ogurtsev, a Russian architect employed by 
the Tsar Michael, and was restored by his grandson, 
Theodore II., and many times subsequently. In the 
seventeenth century it was the private chapel of the 
sovereigns. In it the sons of Alexis were baptised ; 
here it was that in times of danger, as during the revolt 
of the Strelsti (see ch. x. and p. 130) the royal princes 
sought refuge, and from here Ivan Naryshkin went to 
his murder by the Strelsti who were clamouring for his 
head. The church is closed by three doors all 
modelled after the " gilt wicket " ; it possesses a mag- 
nificent ikonostas of chiselled silver, the gift of the 
Countess Soltikov, which marvellously escaped the 
plunderers of 1812. Its ikons include one of the 
Saviour, " not made with hands " (i>. chapter ix. p. 
182), said to have been brought to Moscow in 1472 by 
Sophia Paleologus, and one of Lupin, the centurion, 
the patron saint of the Romanofs. There is also an 
old ikonastas in the adjoining chapel of St John the 
Baptist. On the north side of the Verkhospasski 
Church, also on this third storey, is the Seventeenth 
Century Church of the Resurrection, on the threshold 

Moscow of the Tsars 

of which, if tradition may be believed, Athanasius 
Naryshkin was struck down by the Streltsi in 1682. 
It is lighter than ordinary Russian Churches, lofty, with 
an ogival vaulted roof and almost entirely covered 
with frescoes. The western door has representations 
of the eight Sybils. The mediaeval incense-burner 
suspended in the centre is of foreign, probably Dutch, 
origin, and apart from its own attractiveness serves 
well to contrast the great differences in Western and 
Russian handicraft, for the ikonostas has some excellent 
relief work. The paintings at the east-end are on a 
gold ground, at one period a prevalent fashion with 
Russian ikon painters. The brilliant colouring, the 
lavish use of gold and silver, and the bright illumination, 
so unusual in Russian churches, together make this 
royal chapel one of the most interesting of those in the 
Kremlin. It was from the corridor leading to this 
church that the first " Dmitri " is said to have been 
thrown ; the window, which had been blocked up, will be 
pointed out to the visitor before entering the Chapel of 
the Crucifixion, which is over this corridor and on the 
same level as the fourth storey of the Terem. The 
interior of this chapel is very gloomy ; the floor of 
black and white marble may assist in its recognition. 
Its most interesting feature is the ikonostas of em- 
broidery, the work of the Tsaritsas and their daughters. 
The faces of the saints on the ikons are painted upon 
canvas, and the vestments instead of metal are of worked 
silk and other tissues. At the entrance is the private 
oratory of the Tsar Alexis, and amongst other things 
which will be pointed out as having some connection 
with the younger members of this Tsar's family, is the 
spot upon which he at one time erected a " Golgotha " ; 
the cross is of cedar, pine and cypress, contributed by 
three princes. This church was built in 1679 and 
communicates with the " Church of the Holy Vest- 
i 129 

The Story of Moscow 

ments," by the door to the left of the entrance, a piece of 
work highly characteristic of Russian art at this period. 
There are other churches and chapels which are 
technically private chapels of the palace, as are also the 
Cathedrals of the Assumption and Annunciation, but 
these are dealt with elsewhere. Those actually within, 
or communicating with the Terem, are those above 
enumerated, and in addition there is the old Chapel of 
St John the Baptist " in the wood," now removed to 
the second floor of the tower over the Borovitski Gate. 

The palaces and chapels of the Terem with their many means 
of communication afforded a secure hiding place, and means 
of escape would usually be found by reaching one of the 
churches with their treasuries and subterranean vaults. In 
the early times it was a capital offence to be found behind the 
Golden Gate, but two Chamberlains who accidentally en- 
countered the Tsaritsa Natalia in one of the corridors were 
merely dismissed from office for a single day and reinstated ; 
life was more free and easy in the days of Theodore than ever 
before in Moscow. The faction intrigues and riots that 
followed the succession to the throne of his brother Ivan and 
half-brother Peter were chiefly the result of the unjust 
treatment of the Streltsi. What took place at the palace is 
soon stated. Matviev had been recalled; the Naryshkins 
and Miloslavskis, the relatives of the first and second wives 
of the late Tsar Alexis, were opposed to each other ; the son 
of each wife sat on the throne ; Peter, the younger, had his 
mother to protect him ; Ivan, the elder, his sister Sophia. 
It was too good an opportunity for deciding the supremacy 
of the Miloslavskis, and they having caused it to be reported 
that Ivan's life was in jeopardy, the Streltsi advanced to the 
Kremlin crying " Death to those who oppose royalty 1 Death 
to all traitors ! " Before the gates could be closed they were 
in the Kremlin, and with pikes, halberds, and partisans 
thronging the state entrance and the square of the palace 
itself. They wished to be sure that both Tsars were well: 
they wanted the lives of the Matvievs and Naryshkins if 
Ivan was not. Matviev momentarily saved the situation. 
He went with Natalia, who led the Tsars one by each hand 
out on to the terrace before the infuriated mob. " By God's 
mercy both are well as you see," he said, and added words 


Moscow of the Tsars 

that soothed the mob, but all too soon he retired follow- 
ing Natalia into the palace. Dolgorooki, the head of the 
Streltsi, then turned to the rioters and ordered them to 
be gone. He irritated them by his address ; some seized 
him and threw him over the balustrade, and those below 
caught him on their pikes. Another troop, partisans of 
Sophia, were searching for Matviev, dragged him from the 
presence of the ex-Tsaritsa and near Blagovieshchenski Sobor 
he too was thrown on to the pikes of the Streltsi in the square 
below, and they were not content merely with killing now, 
but cut his body in morsels. Three days later, a faithful 
black servant ventured forth and collected the remains for 
burial. The rioters having now committed two crimes 
reverted to their original determination to settle with those 
opposed to Ivan. They wished particularly for the uncles of 
Peter, Ivan and Athanasius Naryshkin they mistook Soltikov 
for him, and the man, too frightened even to pronounce his 
own name, was slain. A dwarf of the Tsaritsa's led the rioters 
to the hiding place of Athanasius the altar of one of the 
churches, and they killed him where they found him, and 
threw the body out into the square. The mutiny lasted 
several days ; the Streltsi could not find Ivan Naryshkin or 
Van Gaden the doctor. The third day they again went to 
the palace and demanded that Ivan should be given up to 
them. Natalia pleaded for the life of her brother, the boyards 
fearing for their own lives besought her to give him up, 
and at last she consented. He made his last confession, and, 
attended by Natalia and Sophia, carried the ikon of the virgin 
before him. Hurried by the impatient boyards he courageously 
left the chapel, and crossing the threshold of the Golden 
Gates was at once seized by the Streltsi waiting him and 
dragged to torture and execution, and this satisfied the rioters 
for the time. 

Richly carved doors, of a type truly Muscovite and 
mediaeval, lead from the Holy Corridor to the larger 
Golden Hall of the Granovitaia Palace. This building 
is the work of two Italians, Marco Ruffo, and Pietro 
Antonio, at the close of the fifteenth century, and has 
its name of "Facetted" Palace from the trimming of the 
stone blocks of the external walls to imitate some earlier 
ornate wooden building. The large Hall is the old 
throne room of the Tsars Vasili, Ivan " Groznoi " and 

The Story of Moscow 

Boris Godunov. The old custom of a state banquet 
on the day of the coronation is still observed. On this 
occasion, as in olden times, the Tsar is seated at a 
table with such other reigning sovereigns as may be 
present ; his near relations are by etiquette still excluded 
from the room, and view the ceremony from the small 
window near the ceiling, immediately opposite the 
" Krasnoe Ugol " or throne. Around the central 
pillar which supports the vaulted roof, the " mountain " 
is placed on which the Imperial plate is displayed on 
state occasions, just as it was in the days of Herber- 
stein, Jenkinson, and the early ambassadors to the 
Muscovite Court. Here, too, Ivan " Groznoi " re- 
ceived the Khan's emissaries and the rusty knife his 
victorious enemy had sent him that he might cut his 
own throat ; here for three days he regaled his com- 
panions after the fall of Kazan : here Boris Godunov 
entertained the Danish Prince, suitor for the hand of 
the Tsarevna Xenia ; here, in 1653, Alexis received 
the submission of Bogdan Khmelnitski and the cession 
of Little Russia. Peter I. also celebrated herein his 
victory over Charles XII. at Poltava, and in 1767, 
Catherine II. confided to the delegates the celebrated 
" Nakaz " for the compilation of the new code of law. 
Its present condition closely resembles its primitive 
aspect, traces of Peter the Great's vandalism having 
been removed ; the walls uncovered ; the paintings 
restored ; the windows refitted ; and older furnishings 
substituted for the tapestry and decorations of Peter 
and his successors. The paintings, as the inscription 
states, were made in 1882 by two "brothers Bieloosov, 
ikon painters, peasants of the villiage of Palekha." 
Chancellor and his companions when ushered into the 
Golden Palace encountered Ivan the Terrible. "The 
Russian Tsar, sitting on a lofty couch, arrayed in robes 
of silver, and now wearing a different diadem. In the 

Moscow of the Tsars 

middle of the room stood a huge abacus with a square 
pedestal, surmounted with a succession of orbicular tiers, 
which regularly tapered towards the culminating point, 
and was adorned with such profusion of plate and costly 
rarities that it was almost overburdened with the great 
weight of them, and the greater part were of the 
choicest gold. Four vases, conspicuous by their size, 
served specially to enhance the splendour of the other 
golden vessels, for they were nearly five feet in height. 
Four tables, placed separately on each side of the hall 
and raised to the height of three steps above the floor, 
were bespread with the very finest napery and attended 
by a numerous company." One thing which surprised 
Chancellor was the great reverence shown the Tsar 
when he spoke, by the whole company " rising simul- 
taneously and bending low their bodies with a sort of 
gesture of adoration, silently resume their seats." 

The Terem is a building of five storeys, each higher 
one smaller than any below and the topmost but a 
single room, with a porch leading to the flat roof from 
which, before blocked by the Great Palace, a splendid 
view was obtainable. The ground floor was built early 
in the sixteenth century, but serves now for store-rooms 
only, and the one above, reached by a door under the 
staircase, consists of a private suite formerly the work- 
rooms of the palace and now utilised for the preserva- 
tion of old charters. The staircase with carved stone 
steps is separated from the palace by the " gilt-wicket " 
which formerly divided the private from the state and 
court rooms of the palace. It is of a quite ordinary 
design when compared with the much more elaborate 
wrought metal-work found elsewhere in the palaces 
and churches of the Kremlin. The first room reached 
was originally the " vestibule," but serves now as a 
breakfast-room ; the cases contain the old seals of the 
Kingdom ; the walls and vaulted roof covered with 


The Story of Moscow 

pictures and the stove of fine old glazed Russian tiles, 
a variety of faience the secret of whose manufacture 
has been lost. Near to this room is the Council 
Chamber, and, further, what originally served as the 
private room of the Tsars, but was latterly used as a 
throne room. In the bronze casket is the deed of 
election which appointed Mikhail Theodorovich to the 
throne. In the " Krasnce Ugol," or " Grand Corner," 
is the seat of the Tsar Alexis with a carpet before it, 
the handiwork of his daughters. The window ad- 
joining is that from which Dmitri, and other rulers, 
lowered the basket for the petitions of all and sundry 
who wished directly to communicate with the Tsar. 
Adjoining this room is a bedroom, once occupied by 
the unfortunate Tsarevich Alexis Petrovich. The 
oratory has two ikons which formerly belonged to the 
Tsar Alexis, as did also the cross. The belvedere 
reached by either of two separate staircases, was built 
by the Tsar Michael for the accommodation of his 
children, and in later reigns may have been used as a 
council chamber for the " duma " of the boyards. 
The Tsars Alexis and Theodore II. were brought up 
in the Terem ; Peter the Great occupied it only occa- 
sionally, chiefly before his travels abroad, and his son 
Alexis was its last regal inmate. 

" The early Romanofs practically shared their rule with the 
Patriarch, and church services and pageants entered largely 
into their every day life. The Tsar would be awakened at 
about 4 A.M. and at once enter his oratory for private devo- 
tion ; a quarter of an hour later he prayed before the ikon of 
the saint whose day it might be, and then sent one of his 
attendants to inquire as to the health of the Tsaritsa and, later, 
might himself attend her in the vestibule and accompany her 
to matins in one of the chapels of the palace. Boyards and 
others awaited his return for instructions in matters of state, 
and at nine o'clock the Tsar attended high mass either in one 
of the churches or cathedrals of the Kremlin, or upon fete days 
wherever the ceremony was necessarily performed. Mass 



Moscow of the Tsars 

lasted about two hours, and afterwards the sovereign gave 
private audience to ministers until midday, when he took 
his first repast, ordinarily frugal to scantiness and eaten alone. 
During Lent the Tsar Alexis made but three meals each week, 
and ate fish but twice, on fast days taking only a morsel of 
black bread and a pickled mushroom ; he drank either kvas 
or small beer: his devotions occupied five hours of each day, 
and often he prostrated himself more than a thousand times 

"Fast day or not the Tsar's table was always well supplied, 
but of the seventy or more dishes usually served the greater 
part were presented to his courtiers and officers. After the 
midday repast, the sovereign invariably retired for a short 
sleep, arising for vespers at about three o'clock, when he was 
always attended by the court. Occasionally state business was 
transacted after evening service, but generally the remainder 
of the day was spent in recreations ; theatricals, music and chess 
were chief among these. Court pilgrims were the Muscovite 
equivalent of the wandering minstrels of the British courts. 
The Tsar Alexis particularly was interested in the recitals of 
' experienced ' men who had travelled in distant parts of his 
kingdom and liked to hear often the recollections of the grey- 
beards who had known the Moscow of the ' troublous times.' 
If their stories failed, resource was had to a reading of the 
chronicles, ecclesiastical and profane. The pensioners were 
housed in the Kremlin near the royal palace, and were under 
the immediate protection of the Tsar, who himself not fre- 
quently followed some centenarian to the specially appointed 
burial place in the Bogo-yavlenni Monastyr. 

" The Tsaritsas for the most part occupied themselves with 
their own devotions and the direction of the work rooms of 
the palace ; very occasionally with their children they accom- 
panied the Tsar to the Krasnoe Kriltso to be ' beholden of the 
people.' Sometimes they witnessed state ceremonies from a 
secluded corner of the throne room, and in the evening 
witnessed the amusements in the Potieshni Dvorets ; were 
diverted by the tricks of mountebanks and jugglers ; listened 
to songs, or watched the special dancers engaged for their 
amusement. Their journeys abroad were restricted to visit- 
ing the convents and churches, pilgrimages to the Troitsa 
Monastery, or the season's change to a suburban palace. 
Although they attended High Mass in the cathedrals, they 
were seldom seen by the public, being always surrounded by a 
guard of chamber-women who carried ecrans and, arranging 
themselves before the Tsaritsa, screened her from the eyes of 


the curious. Doubtless the strict etiquette was departed from 
in the semi-state of the summer palaces at Kolomenskoe 
and Preobrajenskoe, and certainly the Tsaritsa Natalia failed 
in various ways to observe the strict seclusion of the Terem. 
A state procession in the days of Alexis was a wonderful 
pageant : on his visit to the Novo Devichi Convent he was 
preceded by 600 horsemen, three abreast, all dressed in cloth 
of gold. Grooms led the twenty-five white stallions harnessed 
to a coach draped with scarlet and gold : a guard of honour 
surrounded it ; the Tsar followed in a smaller coach drawn by 
six white horses ; boyards in state robes were his escort. 
Petitioners thronged the procession and their written requests 
were deposited in a special box carried behind the Tsar. The 
Tsarevich, with a long cortege, followed. The Tsaritsa was 
preceded by forty grooms with magnificent steeds, and her 
own coach drawn by ten white horses, and behind her the 
Tsarevna in z. similar carriage drawn by eight horses. The 
waiting-women, to the number of twenty or more, rode astride 
white horses ; they wore scarlet robes, white hats with yellow 
ribbons and long feathers ; white veils hid part of their faces ; 
top boots of bright yellow completed their costume. The 
guard consisted of 300 of the Streltsi with their showiest 
weapons, and behind them came pensioners, boyards and 
officers of the court." Zabielin. 

The young Prince Peter had a small state coach to 
himself; it was drawn by small white ponies, and he 
had as a special retinue a number of dwarfs. In the 
golden age of the three Romanofs Moscow thrived as 
never before and became beautiful beyond other cities. 
Alexis busied himself in erecting new and better build- 
ings where fire destroyed the old, and his example 
was followed by the boyards, who commenced of their 
own accord to build churches or to enrich those exist- 
ing, and were even so western and modern as to 
present bells. It was under Theodore that Moscow 
attained its zenith and became known as the city of 
churches " Forty-forties " their number, the Russian 
equivalent of " seventy times seven," derived from 
" sorokov," an ecclesiastical division, and also a 
" great gross " ; the number actually in existence 

Moscow of the Tsars 

within the town limit is said to have been 1071. 
There were twenty-seven " Halls " within the Kremlin 
palaces ; some twelve new courts of justice in the 
town ; and eight royal residences in the suburbs. The 
boyard Dmitri Kaloshinim built a great church on the 
Devichi Pol-ye, and in addition to the academy in the 
Za-ikono-spasski Monastyr other schools were founded. 
The handicrafts of the west were generally practised, 
and many new trades learned and mastered, some 4300 
foreigners being employed in Moscow in the manu- 
facturing industries and the instruction of the citizens. 
It was at this period that most of the beautiful glass, 
faience and metal work that enriches the sacristies 
was produced, and then that the finest ecclesiastical 
buildings were erected. Some of the choicest anti- 
quities of the Treasury (Orujen-ia Palata) date from 
this period. The boyards during the siege of the 
Poles and themselves in the Kremlin turned much of 
the old plate stored there into money ; the specimens 
of earlier date had been hidden away, or were in the 
treasures of churches outside the Kremlin. Among 
the most interesting antiquities here are: 

In the entrance Hall. The old bell of the Guardians of 
Novgorod, recast in 1683 ; the alarm bell of the city of 
Moscow, recast in 1714 from the old bell of the town ; two 
plates recording the execution of the Streltsi. The stair- 
case has old German suits of mail, some trophies and two 
pictures, one representing the battle of Dmitri Donskoi against 
the Tartars at Kulikovo, and the other the baptism of 
Vladimir the Great. 

Room i : Armoury. Russian armour of the seventeenth 
century, notably a mounted model of the Voievode of the 
period ; on the left of the entrance a Russian soldier of the 
same, also the helmet of the hero Mstislavski, and the helmet 
of the Tsar Mikhail Theodorovich. 

J?o0ra2: Weapont. Chiefly fire-arms used in Russia from 
the fifteenth to the eighteenth century arranged chronologi- 
cally, of which those in cases XVIII and XIX are the most in- 


The Story of Moscow 

teresting; in the cases XVI and XVIII will be found the 
weapons of foreign manufacture, among them the sporting gun 
presented to the Tsar Mikhail in 1619 by Fabian Smith; 
against the wall are the guns the monks of St Sergius used to 
defend the monastery at Troitsa against the Poles in 1609; 
below these the saddle of Prince Pojarski. Among the 
standards around the pillars are the sacred colours carried by 
Dmitri at Kulikovo, of Ivan the Terrible against Kazan (No 
59), of Alexis Mikhailovich against the Poles (No 24), of the 
Streltsi, of Peter the Great's first regiment of marines (No i), 
and the lion and unicorn with which Yermak conquered 
Siberia. The helmets of Kosma Minin, Prince Pojarski, of 
Nikita Romanof, Yaroslaf II., and Alexander Nevski. 
Room 3 : Trophies. Modern. 

Room 4: Regalia. The twelfth century crown of Vladimir 
Monomachus ; the sixteenth century crown of the Tsars of 
Kazan; that of Ivan Alexievich (1680) and of Mikhail Theodoro- 
vich, the Imperial crown, that of Georgia, globes, sceptres note 
particularly the beautiful workmanship from the conquered 
kingdom of Georgia and the orb reputed to have been pre- 
sented by Basil and Constantine in 988, together with the 
golden chain collar and piece of the " true cross." Among 
these insignia, most curious are the Barmi, metal collars worn 
at the coronation, of which one of the earliest has the eagle, 
lion, griffin, and unicorn Byzantine symbols and excellent 
coloured enamel, but said to have been remade by a Moscow 
goldsmith in the sixteenth century. The thrones include that of 
ivory brought to Russia in 1472 by Sophia Paleologus ; Persian 
throne sent to Boris Godunov, in 1605, it is studded with more 
than 2000 gems ; the double throne of the Tsars Ivan and 
Peter was made at Hamburg and is so constructed that the 
curtain at the back might screen the Tsarevna Sophia who 
used to station herself there either to watch or prompt her 
young brothers. In a casket is the code of the Tsar Alexis 
on sheets of parchment. 

Room 5 : Plate. To the left on entering are the enamel 
ware, metal, wood, ivory, and glass, household plate of Russian 
manufacture in the seventeenth century of which the best are 
those of coloured enamel and niello. The loving cup presented 
by the patriarch Nikon to the Tsar Alexis; a ring of the un- 
fortunate Eudoxia (wife of Peter I.) and a number of more or 
less uninteresting objects of that monarch's period ; and a fine 
numismatic collection that will attract the enthusiast. 

Ground Floor: Carriages and Harneis. The State chariot sent 
to Boris Godunov by Queen Elizabeth, carriages with mica 
T 4 

Moscow of the Tsars 

windows, closed carriages of the Tsaritsas, the miniature con- 
veyance of the young prince Peter, some relics of Napoleon ; 
portraits of the sovereigns of Russia, and the model of the 
palace with which Catherine II. intended to cover the Kremlin ; 
of the old palace at Kolomenskoe. There also is the only 
portrait of Maria Mniszek, and a picture representing her 
marriage with the false Dmitri. 

Golden Moscow extended far beyond the Kremlin ; 
one of its most characteristic corners is the Vosskresenski 
Vorot, where stands the little chapel sacred to the 
Iberian Mother of'^GcyL the exact copy of a most 
venerable ikon, brought in 1648 from Mount Athos, 
for which this chapel was erected by the Tsar Alexis. 
The picture shows a scratch on the right cheek, the 
work of an infidel, who was converted by seeing the 
blood that instantly exuded from the wound. The 
adornments are a brilliant crown, with a veil of pearls, 
a large gem on the brow, another on the shoulder ; 
gold brocade with enamelled plaques representing angels' 
heads, and the usual lavish decoration of the vestments, 
complete this unusual ikon, which is probably the most 
venerated of any in Moscow. The chapel is exceed- 
ingly rich and always surrounded by worshippers ; 
thirteen silver chandeliers with tapers are always burn- 
ing before the ikonostas, and to this day the Tsar on 
visiting Moscow dismounts at this chapel before enter- 
ing the Kremlin. The architecture of the wall and 
gate is a modification of the Russian style of the i6th 
century as influenced by the purely utilitarian or military 
style of Podolia and north-east Germany, but the spires 
that crown the old square towers are of a later date and 
are probably due to the love of the Tsar Alexis for the 
Gothic which he tried in vain to blend with the heavy 
low wooden models of early Russia. The buildings 
of this period are mostly characterised by the quaint 
mixture of Lombard and Gothic, but there is one 
fragment, the ruins of the archiepiscopal palace at 


The Story of Moscow 

the Krutitski, which exhibits the more ornate style 
then considerably followed for " Halls," in which the 
influence of Byzantium predominates. The Krutitski 
monastery was first established within the Kremlin, but 
many centuries ago was transferred to the suburbs near 
the Krasnce Kholmski Bridge, where the remains of 
the seventeenth century " dwelling " of the metropolitan 
may now be seen serving as the gateway to the entrance 
of a barracks. It is fronted with glazed tiles of many 
colours, yellow and green are the most conspicuous, 
and of many shapes. The window casements are 
purely Byzantine, but the vaulted archways and the 
roof are as markedly Russian. Only its outer side has 
been left in its original state, with the quaint designs, 
particularly that of the " Busy Bee," glaring from the 
gaudy tiles ; the other side, that within the courtyard, 
is now covered with the usual distemper (i>. p. 122). 

Doubtless much of the fine work on other buildings 
that have survived the fires of the past two centuries 
is similarly hidden beneath plaster and many coatings 
of thick body colour, but it is unlikely that it will be 
discovered until the old buildings themselves are in 
course of demolition, so this one perfect example, 
which is but little known and seldom visited, may be 
regarded as the sole existing memorial of that school 
of Greeks and Byzantines which so powerfully in- 
fluenced Muscovite construction during the reigns of 
Alexis and Theodore II. 

The literary culture was derived from Poland, and 
is not remarkable for strength or beauty : Slavinietski 
confined himself to dogma ; the many-sided Polotsi, 
artist, administrator, pedagogue and poet, wrote several 
volumes, and helped in the adaptation of old-world 
stories for dramatic representation. In addition to 
several plays such as " The Prodigal Son," " Shadrach, 
Meshach and Abednego " and " Esther," which 


* ^Mi^'^M^^!' : 

= , ' ' /. 

'^i\*^^'ll i ' ir ^B6IIW5'liB?5^lTflR?/ " 



Moscow of the Tsars 

were performed within the walls of the Uspenski 
Cathedral, profane history afforded such themes as 
the " Siege of Troy " and " Alexander the Great " 
for the amusement of the court in the private hall. 
Native themes were not so general : " The Judgment 
of Chemiaki " was one ; such plays as the ** Good 
Genius," " The Mirror of Justice," appear to have 
been derived from the Arabs, and it is said that many 
themes from the Hindu " Panchatantra " were also 
utilised. Prince Galitzin spoke Latin as fluently as 
a German Professor ; the tsarevna Sophia was his 
equal in that tongue ; and the princess, so far from 
being satisfied with the routine of the terem, amused 
herself in writing a tragedy and a comedy in verse, both 
of which were performed in Moscow. There seems 
to be no doubt that great liberty was accorded her ; 
but she, unfortunate in the choice of her advisers, 
became ambitious, and herself was the principal figure 
in one of the greatest of the real dramas Moscow has 
furnished. The " Tranquil " Tsar, as Alexis became 
to be called, amassed great wealth and amused himself 
in building a fleet for the Caspian Sea, which the 
water-brigand, Stenki Razin, the pirate of the Volga, 
promptly destroyed ; and then Alexis, like Peter, 
played with toy boats on the ornamental lake he had 
made in the Kremlin. To him, much more truly 
than to Peter, do Karamzin's lines apply : 

" Russia had a noble Tsar, 
Sovereign honoured wide and far : 
He a father's love enjoyed, 
He a father's power employed, 
And sought his children's bliss 
And their happiness was his." 

He constructed much of the old Moscow still 
visible ; not a church or a monastery of earlier date 
but he rebuilt, extended, or improved. Outside the 

K 145 

The Story of Moscow 

Kremlin, throughout the different zones of the 
town, beyond the last ramparts far away into the 
forests that skirted the suburbs, the marks of his work, 
churches, palaces and halls, testify to the immensity and 
riches of this Moscow of the Tsars ; wherever one 
may go in or about the Moscow of to-day, that of the 
seventeenth century cannot be wholly escaped. 

The Kremlin 

u The Kremlin is our Sanctuary and our Fortress ; the 
source of our strength and the treasury of our Holy Faith." 


D USSIANS very rightly regard the Kremlin as their 
Holy of Holies. All that Moscow is to Russia, 
the Kremlin is to Moscow. Nowhere else are so many 
and diverse relics grouped in so small a space ; no 
place of its size is so rich in historical associations. 
It contains what is best worth seeing in Russia, it is 
what is best worth knowing. The people know this ; 
know that as their poet Medich tersely expresses its 
value " Here it is that the great Russian eagle raised 
its eyrie and spread its immense protecting wings over 
an enormous empire." To the antiquary, to the 
student of history, to the lover of beauty, to the 
tourist in search of distraction, the Kremlin is equally 
attractive. To see it to best advantage, all who visit 
Moscow for the first time should make the tour outside 
the walls before entering by any one of its five 
practicable gates ; or, if the complete circuit some 
two miles cannot conveniently be made then, instead 
of entering by the nearest gate from the Kitai Gorod, 
let the hurried visitor at least drive across the Mosk- 
voretski Bridge, along the quay on the south side of the 
river, and, returning by the Kammeny Most, make an 
entrance by either the Borovitski or the Troitski Gate. 

The Story of Moscow 

The exact position of the wall of white stone, built 
in the reign of Dmitri Donskoi (1367), is unknown ; 
in all probability it was within the space at present 
enclosed. The wall of burnt tiles, erected during the 
reign of Ivan III., was the work of Aleviso 
Fioraventi, an Italian architect ; but a few 
years later, between 1485 and 1492, the 
present wall was raised on the 
foundations of the old one, in 
part by Italian workmen, in part 
by native artisans. This wall, 
repaired from time to time, has 
escaped all the fires and disasters 
which wrought such havoc else- 
where in the Kremlin ; but in its 
original state consisted of three 
distinct parapets, set back and 
rising above each other over the 
ditch, much as the tiers of the 
old towers still remaining. The 
wall, the inmost of the three, is 
of an exaggerated Italian style, 
the battlements unnecessarily 
deep. The towers and gates 
are various : some as the Spasski 
and Troitski, Gothic ; some as the Borovitski and the Gun 
Towers, Russian ; others bastard and nondescript. The 
Borovitski, Tainitski, and the similar smaller square 
pyramidal towers, are clearly copies of the older wooden 
erections on the earlier walls. The design is that of 
carpenters, not of masons. The green tiles are the 
original covering ; the secret of making them has been 
lost. For centuries the wall was painted white, the 
present brick colour is an innovation. 
, An early writer states that " the wall is two miles 
about, and it hath sixteen gates and as many bulwarks." 


The Kremlin 

It is better to be precise. The length of the wall is I 
mile 700 yards, and it follows exactly the contour and 
windings of the hill, forming an irregular triangle ; the 
thickness varies from 14 to 20 feet, the height from 
30 to 70 feet. Throughout the entire length there is 
a rampart 9 feet wide and a low parapet on the inner 
side. This walk is paved with stone flags, and is 
reached from any of the towers and by special stairways 
within the wall. 

The Borovitski Gate, surmounted by a tower 200 
feet high (see page 299), preserves the name of the 
forest (Bor), with which the hill was long ago covered, 
its official name is the Prechistenka Gate ; here all 
that remains of the old church of the Nativity of St 
John the Baptist is conserved in the chapel on the 
right of the gate in entering. In the second storey is 
the Royal Chapel of St John, one of the ten churches 
of the palace ; in it a service is held once a year, to 
which worshippers arc summoned by ringing the bells 
on the third storey of the tower. By this gate the 
Tsars left the Kremlin on other than state occasions, 
by it Napoleon's troops entered. 

Turning towards the river, the round tower at the 
corner of the wall was used at one time as a water 
reservoir for the palace gardens. Peter the Great had 
need of all the lead he possessed when building his 
new capital on the Neva, and the tower was then dis- 
mantled. It suffered from the mines exploded by the 
French in 1812 ; in 1856 it was used to store certain 
valuables removed from St Petersburg. 

The first tower eastward from the " Chateau d'Eau " 
is the old granary, " Jitny Dvor," now used by the 
priest of the adjoining church of the Annunciation. 
According to the legend on the wall at this point a 
vision of the Annunciation was seen ; to commemorate 
which this church was built. 


The Story of Moscow 

The next tower is over the Tainitski or " Secret " 
Gate, a postern leading to the river, now practicable 
for pedestrians only. On this spot there has been a 
gate ever since the Kremlin was first enclosed ; it was 
at one time used for the procession of January 6, on its 
way to the river, but " The Blessing of the Water " 
is now performed from the New Cathedral of our 

The wall then runs eastward as far as the round 
tower near the Moskvoretski Bridge, then turns north 
as far as the Spasski Gate. The corner comprised 
within this length of the wall and a straight line from 
the Tainitski to the Spasski Gate is full of story. 
The first two towers have now no name ; the next is 
that of the Metropolitan Peter ; after the corner tower, 
the first is that of Constantine and Helen, the next the 
Tsarina's tower, then comes the small open tower in 
the wall itself and quite close to the Spasski Tower. 
It was at this corner, at first within the Kremlin it- 
self, later outside on the Grand Place that the public 
executions took place. The wall here has prison cells 
within its vaulted arches, dungeons are beneath the 
towers, the corner tower once an oubliette, is still 
supposed to have the remains of the iron blades and 
spikes, upon which the prisoners fell, projecting from 
its walls ; in the tower of Constantine and Helen were 
the instruments of torture used to extort confessions, 
and the church of the same name is that to which the 
accused were taken to make their oath before being led 
to the rack or cast into some secret dungeon. The 
Tsarina's Tower, now a dwelling and storehouse, has 
no pleasant history ; the small tower in which once 
hung the great bell brought from Novgorod is popularly 
believed to have been constructed by Ivan Groznoi to 
afford him a better view of the executions, but, if 
authorities may be believed, on such occasions he more 

The Kremlin 

often figured as an actor than an onlooker. However 
this may be, it is undoubtedly the truth that of this 
portion of the Kremlin much that is interesting will 
some day be written. Sneguirev and other writers are 
content to describe it in very general terms ; Fabricius, 
who for eight years was employed in the Kremlin 
and knows it more thoroughly than most men, in his 
monumental work on the Kremlin, scamps this section, 
although giving minute details respecting other towers 
and portions of the wall. It is not accessible to the 
public, and special permission from the commandant of 
the fortress is now required before admission is given to 
the rampart walk. 

The Spasski (Redeemer) Gate, constructed in the 
reign of Ivan III. (1491), by Peter Antonio Solarius 
of Milan, was at first known as the Florovski gate 
from a church dedicated to St Florus in its vicinity. 
It bears the following inscription : 

" Johannes Vassilii Dei gratia magnus Dux Volodomirz, 
Moscovise, Novoguardiz, Iferiz, Plescovias, Veticias, Ougariae, 
Permise, Volgarix et aliarum totiusque Roxiz dominus: anno 
30 imperil sui has turres condere jussit, et statuit Petrus 
Solarius Mediolanensis, anno nativitatis Domini 1491." 

When the church of the Holy Trinity was built 
this gate took the name of the "Jerusalem Gate," 
because the Palm Sunday procession passed beneath 
it. In 1626 during the reign of the Tsar Mikhail 
Theodorovich, Christopher Galloway, an English 
clockmaker, constructed the spire and placed therein 
a striking clock, which, however, was subsequently 
removed. After various changes, in 1737 the Tsarina 
Elizabeth Petrovna caused the one now in use to be 
placed there. The building itself is formed of thick 
double walls, between which are passages and stair- 
cases of wood and stone ; brick buttresses connect the 
walls and support the upper storeys. The second is 

The Story of Moscow 

the clock tower ; the third of octagonal form, has 
eight arches on which the spire is carried. Over the 
entrance is the miraculous ikon of the Redeemer, 
brought back from Smolensk by the Tsar Alexis in 
1647. It is to this picture that the orthodox attribute 
the raising of the siege of Moscow by the Tartars 
under Makhmet-Ghiree in 1526; it is still held in 
great veneration, and it is customary for all to uncover 
whilst passing through the gate. Formerly an omission 
to do so was punished with two score and half com- 
pulsory prostrations. The Redeemer Gate is the state 
entrance to the Kremlin ; by it the Tsars entered and 
left on all important occasions. Ivan III. passed 
through after quelling the revolt at Nijni Novgorod ; 
Ivan " Groznoi " after taking Kazan ; Vasili Shooiski 
after the delivery of Moscow from the Poles ; here 
the people went to meet the young Tsar Michael 
Romanof after his election. The remains of Shooiski 
were brought through this gate, and by it passed the 
funeral processions of the Tsars Peter II., Alexander 
I. and Alexander II. Since the eighteenth century 
the Tsars have made their state entry to the Kremlin 
for the coronation by the Redeemer Gate. Criminals 
executed near the Lobnce Mesto addressed their last 
prayers to the ikon above its portal ; near it the 
" hundreds " of Streltsi were executed by order of 
Peter the Great, and in his reign the heterodox who 
refused to shave their heads paid a fine on passing it. 
The French tried to blow up the gate with gunpowder, 
but it was saved by the timely intervention of the 

The Nikolski Gate on the north-east was also built 
by Peter Solarius, but has been several times restored, 
having suffered by fire and from other disasters. 
Tokhtamysh entered the Kremlin by this gate ; so 
did the troops of Sigismund III., and it was here that 

'The Kremlin 

Edigei most strongly assaulted the Kremlin, here that 
the Krim-Tartars ineffectually tried to gain an entrance 
in 1551, and here that the battle raged between the 
Poles and Russians for the possession of Moscow. 
Like the Spasski Gate it also has its miraculous ikon. 
It is a mosaic of St Nicholas of Mojaisk. The 
dread of perjurers and the comfort of those in pain," 
before it litigants made their solemn oaths preliminary 
to the hearing of the cause. The inscription upon it 
records how, when the French attempted to blow it 
up, the ikon escaped destruction. 

"In the year 1812, during the time of the invasion by the 
enemy almost the whole of this strong tower was demolished 
by the explosion of a mine ; but, by the wonderful power of God, 
the holy image of the greatly favoured by God, here designed, 
and, not only the image, but the pane of glass covering it, as 
also the lantern with the cr.ndle, remained uninjured. 

" Who is greater than God, our God ? Thou art the 
God, the marvellous God, who doest miracles by Thy saints." 

This gate is the most generally used entrance to the 
Kremlin, and in the tower above the law archives of 
the town are now stored. 

Northward from the Nikolski gate there is an abrupt 
descent to the corner tower which is polygonal, not 
round like the others for here is the old bed of the 
river Neglinnaia. Formerly the stream was dammed 
up near its junction with the Moskva so as to constitute 
an impassable moat, and thus protect the western side 
of the Kremlin. Nevertheless the wall is continued 
at the same height for its whole length. The arsenal, 
a commonplace building, extends from the corner tower 
to the Troitski gate, the monotony of its dreary line 
broken by two characteristic gun-towers on the wall. 
In the Alexander Gardens, outside the Kremlin, 
arches and rough masonry may be seen, and possibly 
mistaken for a part of the foundations of the Kremlin 


The Story of Moscow 

wall ; they are only decorations dating from the 
Exhibition held there in 1872. 

The Troitski (Trinity) Gate was constructed to 
give access to the palaces in the Kremlin from the 
suburb on the other side of the Neglinnaia, in the 
seventeenth century occupied almost entirely by Court 
servants and artisans. Towards the close of the 
eighteenth century this quarter was a slum, the chief 
haunt of the robbers and desperadoes of 
Moscow ; thence came the men who fired 
the city during the French occupation. 
The tower over the gate, 
in the Gothic style, was 
added by Galloway early 
in the seventeenth cen- 
tury and has been twice 
restored ; the rooms in 
it are now used by the 
staff in charge of the old 
archives stored in the various 
towers of the Kremlin. The 
bridge is protected by a barbi- 
can, the Kuta'ifa, a large white 
tower of original design, the 
BELVEDERE or PLEASURE PALACE work of Italians, about i 500, 
battlemented and once fur- 
nished with gates and portcullis. The French entered 
and left the Kremlin by this route. It is the only gate 
in the Kremlin without a chapel, the church of the 
Trinity once adjoining having been demolished. 

About midway along the wall between the Troitski 
and Borovitski gates appear the bright-coloured roofs 
and gables of an old Russian house, the Potieshni 
Dvorets, whose striking architecture, together with 
that of the characteristic smaller towers on the walls, 
relieves the ugliness of the service buildings on the 


The Kremlin 

left and the heavy fagade of the Treasury building on 
the right. This side of the Kremlin should be seen 
from the far side of the gardens, or from the street 

The best view of the Kremlin is that seen from the 
south end of the Moskvoretski bridge (see page 13.) 
The balconies of the Hotel Kokoref command the 
same view, one which reveals at a glance more that is 
characteristic of Moscow than even the bird's-eye view 
from the dome of Ivan Veliki. In the foreground the 
river and quays ; beyond, the walls of the Kremlin 
with towers in all styles ; the fantastic pinnacles of 
Vasili Blajenni ; the blunted spires of the Vossnesenski 
convent, behind which rise the gilded domes of the 
Chudov church and the great cupola of the hall of 
St Catherine in the Senate. Beyond the striking 
Alexander memorial rises the belfry of Ivan Veliki, 
and around it cluster the gilded and gay-coloured domes 
of the cathedrals, then, further to the left, the long 
fagade of the Palace, the pyramidal tower of the 
Borovitski gate, and, apparently near by, the huge 
golden dome of the new Cathedral. (See page 299.) 

Entering the Kremlin by the Nikolski gate, to the 
right is the arsenal, to the left the Senate (Law 
Courts), reaching the transverse route from the Troitski 
gate, the barracks are in front, the buildings of the 
service corps to the right, the Chudov monastery to 
the left ; continuing straight on, a large open space is 
reached ; then on the left is the smaller palace, on the 
far side of the square is the Alexander memorial ; 
close by, on the right, the Synod, then, railed off, the 
Sobornia Ploshchad with the cathedrals and beyond 
them the Grand Palace. In the centre rises Ivan Veliki 
tower which serves as belfry for all the cathedrals. 

The cathedrals are, for the most part, described in 
detail in " Moscow of the Ecclesiastics " ; the palaces 


Tbe Story of Moscow 

in the chapter on " Moscow of the Tsars," and the 
Chudov and Vossnesenski monasteries in chapter xii. ; 
here the other buildings and sights of the Kremlin may 
be mentioned. 

First and foremost to treat of Ivan Veliki ; of 
Moscow and its bells. 

According to tradition the tall bell tower has a very 
ancient origin but as a matter of fact it was constructed 
at the close of the sixteenth century to find employment 
for a starving population. Its foundations are on a level 
with the river bed, 120 feet below the surface ; its height 
above is 320 feet, built in five storeys, the first four 
octagonal, the topmost cylindrical. In the eighteenth 
century it was considered one of the wonders of the 
world, and to this day the orthodox invariably cross 
themselves when passing it. Dedicated to St John 
and containing in the basement a chapel to the same 
saint, it is supposed to owe its name to this, but tradition 
states that it was constructed by one John (Ivan) 
Viliers whose patronymic has been corrupted into 
Veliki that is, "great" or "big." 

There are 450 steps to the gallery under the cupola, 
whereon is an inscription of which the following is a 
translation : 

" Under the protection of the Holy Trinity and by order of 
the Tsar and Grand Duke Boris Theodorovich autocrat of all 
the Russias, and of his son the Tsarevich and Grand Duke 
Theodore Borisovich, this church has been completed and 
gold-crowned the second year of their reign. A.M. 71 So." 1 

Adjoining Ivan Veliki is another tower, that of the 
Assumption, in which are hung the larger bells, and 
still further to the north a third belfry with a pyramidal 
spire, known as the Tower of Philaret. 

The chapel of St John is on, or near, the spot 
occupied by a small wood church first erected in 1320 ; 

1 Date erroneous : built 1590-1600 A.D. 
I 5 6 

The Kremlin 

it contains several ikons of interest. On the first storey 
under the dome of the Assumption Tower is a chapel 
dedicated to St Nicholas, replacing a fourteenth-century 
church in the Kremlin. It is specially visited by the 
orthodox about to marry, and contains some ikons 
removed from the church of St Nicholas of Galstun, 
demolished during the reign of Alexander I. (1816). 
A deacon of the old church, Ivan Theodorof, intro- 
duced printing into Russia, and in 1 567 produced a book 
of hours on Moscow. Hence, the book depot lodged 
in the tower. Very characteristic of Moscow are these 
three towers, of different styles of architecture, massed 
to form one building ; that the three should all be 
white is a pleasing convention which has long endured. 
It is needless to state that there is an excellent view 
from the upper storeys, one well worth the toilsome 
ascent. Moreover the bells are interesting ; though 
some visitors are content with an examination of the 
great Bell of Moscow which, broken and flawed, stands 
upon a pedestal at the foot of the Ivan Veliki tower. 

The art of bell-founding first practised at Nola 
in Campania in the ninth century, has been known in 
Russia since the fourteenth; in 1553 a bell of about 
1 5 tons was cast in Moscow and hung in a wooden 
tower. Since that date many large bells have been 
cast and recast. The largest, the Tsar Kolokol, the 
" Great Bell of Moscow," is supposed to have been 
first cast in the sixteenth century, probably during the 
reign of Boris Godunov ; in 161 1 a traveller states that 
in Moscow is a bell whose clapper is rung by two 
dozen men ; in 1636, a fire in the Kremlin caused the 
bell to fall and it was broken. In 1654 it was recast 
and then weighed some 130 tons ; it was 2 feet thick 
and its circumference over 50 feet. It was suspended 
at the foot of the tower, and the wooden beam support- 
ing it being burned by the fire of i 706 it once more 


The Story of Moscow 

fell to the ground and broke, it was recast by order 
of the Empress Anne in 1733* but it is doubtful 
whether it was hung. From 1737 to 1836 it lay 
beneath the surface. By the order of the Tsar 
Nicholas, De Ferrand raised it from the pit and 
mounted it on the pedestal it now occupies. It is 
2 feet thick, 21 feet high (26 feet, 4 inches with ball 
and cross) 68 feet in girth, and weighs 185 tons. The 
fragment is 7 feet high and weighs 1 1 tons. The 
figures represent the Tsar Alexis and the Empress 
Anne. It bears a long inscription : 

" Alexis Michaelovich of happy memory, Autocrat of Great 
and Small Russia and of White Russia, gave the order that 
for the Cathedral of the pure and glorious Assumption of the 
Holy Virgin, a bell should be cast with 8000 poods of copper, 
in the year of the world 7161 and of the birth of Jesus Christ 
our Saviour, 1645. This bell was used in the year 7176 (A.D. 
1668), and served until the year of the creation 7208 and of 
Jesus Christ 1701 ; in which last year on the 19 June it was 
broken in a great fire that destroyed the Kremlin : it was 
mute until the year of the creation . . . and of our Lord. . . . 
By the command of the majestic Empress-Autocrat Anna 
Ivanovna, for the glory of God, of the Holy Trinity, and in 
honour of the Holy Virgin, in the Cathedral of her glorious 
Assumption, they melted the metal of the old bell of 8000 
poods, damaged by the fire and added thereto 2000 poods of 
new metal, the year of the world 7141 and of the birth of our 
Saviour 1734, and the fourth of the glorious reign of Her 

" Thirty-four bells hang in these three towers ; the 
largest is the " big bell " of the Uspenski Sobor, which 
is in the middle tower and on the lowest tier. It was 
cast in 1 8 1 7 by Bogdanof, to replace the bell broken 
when the tower was wrecked by the mine exploded 
beneath it in 1812. A bell of 7 tons is the largest in 
the tower of Ivan, which, originally founded in 1501 
by Afanasief, has been subsequently recast ; the next 
storey has three old bells and amongst those of the 

The Kremlin 

highest storey are two " silver " bells. The oldest here 
dates from I 550 ; other old bells, Russian, Dutch, and 
others, are hung in the belfry of Spass na Boru, in that 
of St Michael in the courtyard of the Chudov Monas- 
tery, and in the belfry of the Vossnesenski Convent. 
Russian bells are not swung, but are sounded by moving 
the clapper, to the tongue of which the bell rope is 
attached; the clapper of the " Kolokol " is 14 feet 
in length and 6 feet in circumference. The famous 
bells of Moscow are : 

"The Tsar Kolokol, 185 tons; Assumption or 'Big Bell' 
in use 64 tons; The Thunderer (Reut), 30 tons, cast by 
Chokov in 1689, it also fell in 1812 but was not broken; 
The Every Day (Vsednievni), 15 tons, cast in 1781; The 
Seven-hundredth (Semisotni), 10 tons ; Bear (Medvied),7 tons; 
Swan (Lebeda), 7 tons ; Novgorodsk, 6 tons ; The ' Wide ' Bell 
(Shirokoi), \\ tons ; Slobodski, 4^ tons ; Rostovski, 3 tons." 

The casting of the great bells was made a state 
function as well as a church ceremony ; as late as the 
nineteenth century, the old form of blessing the bell 
was followed in the case of the Big Bell, which is 
described at length by Dr Lyall who was present: 

"On the I7th March 1817, the Archbishop Augustine went 
into the cavity in which the metal was to be run, and sprinkled 
the place with holy water, as also the metals to be used in 
founding the bell ; gave his benediction to the masters of the 
foundry, and called the workmen to receive his blessing and 
kiss the cross. The molten metal ran by a gutter into the 
mould ; and, the casting finished, the Archbishop again gave 
thanks to God. The leading inhabitants were present at the 
casting, and freely threw in gold and silver trinkets. On the 
23rd February 1819 this bell was removed from the foundry. 
It was placed on an oak sledge, and after the Te Deum had been 
sung, a willing crowd seized the many ropes attached and 
drew the sledge down the Srietenka and Lubianka to the 
Kusnetski Most, Mokhovaya, and the whole length of the 
Kremlin wall to the Borovitski Gate by which it made its 
entrance, and reached the Belfry of Ivan Veliki, where the 
Te Deum was sung again. It was hung in the summer of 1819." 


The Story of Moscow 

Closely allied to the art of the bell-maker was that 
of cannon-founder, and the Kremlin contains some 
curious and excellent specimens of old weapons. The 
most striking is the huge gun known as the Tsar 
Pushka, " King of Guns," familiarly as the " drobov- 
nik " (fowling piece), which was cast in the reign of 
Theodore Ivanovich (1586), by one Chokof. It 
weighs 36 tons, and is of too large calibre and too 
weak metal ever to have been used as a weapon. 
When Peter I. after the battle of Narva, ordered old 
cannon and church bells to be cast into new ordnance, 
this was spared. So was the mortar by its side, for 
it was cast by the false Dmitri, who not only took a 
great interest in the manufacture of fire arms, but tested 
them himself. Among the cannon arranged along the 
barrack terrace is " The Unicorn " cast in 1670 ; the 
carriage of this, of the Tsar Pushka, and of others are 
new, made by Baird, of St Petersburg. Along the 
front of the arsenal are arranged the 875 cannon, 365 
French, taken from " the twenty nations " who invaded 
Russia with Napoleon. 

It has already been stated that the Kremlin was at 
one time a complete city ; to a certain extent it is so 
still. Again and again buildings have been destroyed 
and restored ; streets made, and swept away. In sink- 
ing the foundations for the Alexander memorial the 
debris of three distinct ruins superimposed showed how 
one town has succeeded another, and as at that point, 
so at many others. The exercising ground was long 
covered with dwellings ; there were the hostelries of 
the Krutitski monastery, the houses of the priests, 
seminaries, private dwellings at one time as many as 
twenty streets were to be found within the Kremlin 
walls. Under the barracks and the Chudov monastery 
are immense vaults of ancient brick ; below the Synod 
are known to be two large chambers which have not 



The Kremlin 

been examined, and, in the very centre of the Kremlin, 
between the Tsar Pushka and the Chudov Monastery, 
but three feet beneath the pavement, is the basement 
of an old edifice, vaults of white stone, probably the 
remains of the palace of the Tsar Boris Godunov. 
The smaller palace is built upon the side of an early 
cemetery ; at one time in the open space near Ivan 
Veliki criminals were publicly executed and the ukases 
of the Tsar proclaimed. In the same way that the 
Kremlin is honeycombed with vaults for the storage 
of great quantities of food and munitions of war, it is 
penetrated by different conduits for the water drawn 
from the bed of the neighbouring stream ; a supply so 
plentiful and constant that the Tsar Alexis used it to 
flow through great lead bottomed tanks and ornamental 
lakes, whereon, like later Tsars, he amused himself 
with a toy fleet. 

The railed in Sobornia Ploshchad has been from 
time immemorial the Grand enclosure. Here the 
religious processions formed, and form ; here Dmitri 
Ivanovich unfurled the black standard before going 
out to give battle to Mamai ; here most Tsars have 
passed to their coronation, or have walked with 
their brides to the altar for the wedding sacrament ; 
across it the princes and Tsars of Moscow have been 
carried to their last resting place. Outside that door 
crouched the excommunicated Ivan Groznoi, from this 
the frenzied people dragged their priest, towards that 
the threatened metropolitan bravely made his way to 
officiate at a forbidden mass. Before the Grand 
entrance (Krasnoe Kriltso) foreign ambassadors drew 
up in pomp to make their calls of state, on that same 
terrace Ivan with his staff transfixed the foot of the 
brave messenger of the not less bold Kourbski, there, 
too, he gazed at the comet supposed to foretell his 
death. To this place the basket for the petitions of 


The Story of Moscow 

the people was daily lowered from the Tsar's palace 
window ; on this spot fell the body of the murdered 
false Dmitri. Here at different times have gathered 
Tartar envoys, merchant venturers, turbulent Streltsi ; 
the famished, the terrified and the pestilent stricken ; 
Polish soldiers, French grenadiers, foreign fighting- 
men as a bodyguard, the dreaded " opritchniki " ; 
bountiful boyards, Napoleon's riff-raff; humble Russians 
to petition, pious ones to pray, grateful ones to return 

The imaginative visitor may conjure up amidst the 
buildings whatever scene he will from the history of 
Moscow and find adequate setting. May picture 
state pageantry ; church ceremonial ; military display ; 
the expression of perfervid piety ; the ruin following 
fearful disaster whether wrought by the hand of man 
or the act of God. Such scenes that the walls will 
seem to echo in turn the laughter of homely merry- 
making, the huzzahs of victory, the wails of the afflicted, 
the uproar of the turbulent, the sighs of the worshipper 
for here every emotion has been many times ex- 
pressed by the varying multitudes that have thronged 
these courts. 

Entering by the tower of Philaret, the Church of the 
Twelve Apostles is on the extreme right, the Cathedral 
of the Assumption immediately in front, that of the 
Archangels on the left, opposite it is the Cathedral of 
the Annunciation communicating with the royal palaces 
by a terrace from which descends the wide flight ot 
steps which as their name, Krasnoe Kriltso, indicates 
is the grand or state entrance to the palace. It was on 
this terrace that the Tsars of old allowed the people to 
see " the light of their eyes," and there that those ot 
noble race stood to be "beholden of the people." At 
one time this flight had the usual porch at the 'foot, 
and a red roof above, just as the approaches to the old 

The Kremlin 

churches and the modern house, Dom Chukina off the 
Tverskaia. Fires have destroyed the roofs and now 
an awning only is used upon state occasions. These 
steps flank the old Granovitaia Palace and on its 
other side, in an obscure corner, almost behind the 
Cathedral of the Assumption, is the Holy Spot of 
the Kremlin, being to the church what the Krasnce 
Kriltso was to the state. 

It is the old entrance to the private apartments of the 
Patriarchs, and the chapel of the metropolitans, that 
known as the Pecherski Bogeimateri, raised on the 
site of the earliest stone edifice built in the Kremlin. 
Founded by Jonas it suffered the fate of most buildings 
in Moscow, but was always rebuilt in much the same 
style, and still conserves many characteristics of the 
most ancient of Moscow churches. The present build- 
ing is composed of the fragments left from the fires of 
1626, 1637, 1644 and 1682. The roof is vaulted, 
supported by four columns ; the walls have pictures of 
the virgin and saints, and above the altar is that of 
the Madonna. The ikonostas has four stages and is 
adorned with most venerable ikons, notably those of 
" The Reception of the sacred vestments of the 
Virgin" of the Virgin of Vladimir (an early copy), 
and of the Holy Trinity, before which are ancient 
candelabra with the remains of tapers made like the 
old rushlights and gaily coloured. The inscription is 
to the effect that they were placed there by the 
Patriarch Joseph in 1643 and 1645. The old 
chandelier in the centre is by Sviechkov, a master 
craftsman of the Tsarian workshops in 1624. The 
Virgin of Pechersk, brought from Kiev, is hung upon 
the wall and surrounded with portraits of Peter, Alexis, 
Jonas, Philip, and other of the patron saints of Moscow : 
before this ikon all must bow or suffer eternal punish- 
ment. The church is never closed ; day and night it 


T'be Story of Moscow 

is visited by pious pilgrims and the sacred lamp is ever 
burning before the ikon. It communicates with the 
corridor of the Terem, and behind it rise the domes of 
the churches within the palace, notably those of the 
Saviour behind the Golden Gates and St Catherine's : 
near them the roof of the Terem and the walls of the 
Granovitaia Palace complete a picture wholly Muscovite ; 
but, if tradition may be trusted, the work upon the 
most picturesque portion, St Catherine's, is due to an 
Englishman, one John Taylor, in the service of the 

On Palm Sundays there used to form in the little 
square before the porch the head of that procession in 
which the Tsar led the Patriarch, seated upon an ass, 
by^the Redeemer Gate to the Lobnoe Mesto. Peter 
the Great turned the procession to mere burlesque, 
mounting the Patriarch upon an ox and himself playing 
the buffoon. Here, too, were the miracle plays and 
church mysteries performed in the seventeenth century, 
and here the church processions still form for the more 
stately pageants of to-day. 

The only old private dwelling remaining within the 
Kremlin is that now known as the Potieshni Dvorets, 
or " palace of amusements," which was originally the 
house of the boyards Miloslavski and was acquired by 
the crown after the marriage of the Tsar Alexis with 
Maria Miloslavski. The interior has now nothing of 
particular interest, but the exterior is an excellent 
example of Russian architecture as modified by mid- 
European influence in the late seventeenth century. 
Part of the third and fourth storeys instead of retreat- 
ing, in the Russian style, is made to project, but the 
" belvedere," with a balcony all round, is retained for 
the top storey ; retained, too, are the bulbous pillars 
which serve as, or decorate the side posts of doors and 
windows, and the long pendant keystones to form the 
1 66 

The Kremlin 

double-arch instead of a lintel ; all of which are 
peculiar to Russian architecture. 


Several explanations for the common use of the 
ogival arch, the bulbous dome, and the double arch 

l6 7 

Story of Moscow 

with hanging keystones, have been advanced by 
antiquaries, but none are altogether satisfactory. The 
errors have possibly resulted from studying masonry to 
the exclusion of carpentry, and the early Slavs were 
users of wood not of stone or brick. It may be that 
these forms were due to the execution in light elastic 
wood of arches and vaults copied from foreign work 
composed of voussoirs, but such is unlikely. Assuming 
that round wood poles, the stems of the plentiful young 
birch trees, and wattles were the materials of which the 
frames of the early dwellings were constructed, then 
such forms naturally result. 

If the ends of poles are stuck into the earth, and the 
opposite extremities brought to a common centre and 
weight as that of the roof added, the timbers will 
sagg and a concave section result. That this was one 
Russian form of roof, the illustration of the Belvedere 
of the Terem exemplifies (see page 117), where the 
curve is purposely exaggerated for the purpose of 
decorative effect. If, instead of being placed loosely 
in the earth to allow of this set, the poles are thrust 
down deep into the soil or otherwise made immovable 
and the upper extremities forcibly brought in towards the 
centre and fastened there, then when the weight of the 
roof bends the poles, they will bulge outward in the 
middle, and when the weight of the roof has been so 
adjusted as to correct the curve in order to give to the 
structure the desired greatest possible interior space 
for domestic accommodation, then the bulbous dome 
naturally results if the poles be arranged in a circle. 
The ogival arch is only a section of that. 

Granted that if the poles cross each other near the 
tops a more or less concave cone will result as ex- 
emplified in the tepoes of the American Indians 
yet if instead of two or three poles, many more 
have to be brought to the common apex it will be 
1 68 

The Kremlin 

easier not to cross them but bind all firmly to each 
other or a central post then the ogival section must 
result. If a single pole is bent to form the support of 
a roof and both its extremities are thrust into the ground, 
the horseshoe arch is obtained as soon as the weight 
of the roof acts upon such supports. If, instead of 
the single pole, two shorter ones are taken and instead 
of being lashed together to form the pointed arch 
the upper extremities are brought towards each other 
and downwards and then lashed, a more rigid bow 
is obtained, and this is the crude form of the double 
arch with pendant keystone so common in Moscow ; 
and its use generally is over doorways, etc., where a 
wide span with great stability is required, and with 
poles as the only available material this form gives 
rigidity not obtainable by bending to any other so simple 

The form of arched vault that had served as the lowly 
dwelling of a primitive people was retained in its 
entirety for the roof of later and larger buildings ; the 
walls, whether of logs or shaped timber, served as 
imposts, just as the soil had done, and so the bulbous 
domes, the square and oblong attic roofs with their 
characteristic gonflements have been retained. It is 
merely an example of the persistence as decoration of 
forms which were originally wholly utilitarian. This 
is particularly the case with the double arch where the 
pendant keystone descends to the level of the imposts 
and is of course supported from the lintel when exe- 
cuted in masonry. Another characteristic Russian form 
is the circular arch of masonry, which has the voussoirs 
of the intrados of the usual regular form but of the 
extrados slightly elevated at the corner to indicate 
the " ogival arch," which was the common form of 
the wooden arch in Moscow. As already stated 
(ch. ii.) the early forms of Russian dwellings may 


The Story of Moscow 

be studied from the models in the Historical Museum ; 
one peculiarity is that each successive storey is set back 
from that immediately below instead of projecting as 
in the half-timbered houses, of mediaeval England. 
In addition to the belvederes of the Terem and 
Potieshni Dvorets, it is noticeable in the towers of 
the Kremlin wall. They were originally of timber 
and the earlier form is retained even to the double 
walls and tiers so necessary to a wooden bulwark, 
but quite foreign to the method of the Italian masons 
who erected these buildings. The steep roofs of 
the towers is also common and convenient in con- 
structing with timber, but needless and difficult when 
working with tiles and bricks. So long as these 
remain the wooden original Moscow cannot be wholly 

The attempt to retain the pyramidal or retreating 
form when building with bricks has resulted in a 
distinctly Muscovite style for towers and spires. In- 
stead of a parapet on the walls of the tower, a tier 
of small circular arches is imposed, and form the 
crowns of these, also set back, spring the voussoirs 
of a second tier, and in like manner other tiers until 
the desired height is reached for the spire, or the 
cylindrical shaft that is to support the dome, or 
whatever other ornament is used to crown the struc- 
ture. One of the best examples of this form is 
the church of the Nativity on the Mala Dmitrovka, 
which was built in the " golden " period of Moscow 
1625-1680 when for all buildings of first importance 
masonry had supplanted the use of wood (see p. 181 ). 
The earlier form may be seen in the roof of the 
Blagovieshchenski Sobor ; and the varieties of pattern 
are reproduced in the attic roofs of the Historical 
Museum building. 

The absurdity of the pendant keystone in the double 

T'he Kremlin 

arch is demonstrated by the arch over the doorway to 
the courtyard of the synod, and the lintels of doors 
and windows of the Potieshni Dvorets. 

The magnificent monument to the Great Tsar 
Liberator, Alexander II., is the latest addition to the 
Kremlin, that heart of Moscow which echoes the 
glorious past of the Russian empire and is its true 
Pantheon. None have graced it more than those 
early Romanofs whose work is evident in every 
ancient building, but still more imperishable was the 
noble labour of him to whom this generation has ex- 
pressed its gratitude in 'an imposing and characteristic 
memorial to the most loved Tsar. 


Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

"Come, brothers! your heads you may bow, 
Before grand and most holy Moscow ; 
Where the old altars of our land, 
Where shrines of saints, and ikons stand, 
Our inmost sanctuary." BOROZDNA. 

LJOLY Moscow, so reverently and affectionately 
regarded by the orthodox as the Mother of the 
Church, is to them more than a mere agglomeration 
of sacred shrines and ecclesiastical edifices. Neither 
the churches though they are numerous and important 
enough to warrant the familiar appellation nor yet the 
wonder-working, incorruptible remains and the miracu- 
lous ikons most endear Moscow to the true-believer 
for there are such elsewhere which receive like humble 
homage. Holy Moscow comprises all that has served 
to nurse and sustain the faith amidst infidel aggression ; 
the white-walled and golden-crowned city is symbolic 
of the lasting reward of heroic endeavour in the upward 
struggle of the race towards supremacy. Not inde- 
structible itself, but its spirit undying ; razed time after 
time only to appear again greater and more glorious 
than before, Moscow seems to the Russian not so much 
a part of the national entity personified in empire, as 
the very soul of his race ; possessed, even as each in- 
dividual, with strength to endure adversity and unfailing 
vigour to accomplish a predestined purpose. Traditions 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

of divine intervention ; the finding and promulgation of 
Law ; much that is miraculous and legendary as well 
as all that is credible in early national history the 
Russian associates with Moscow, and feels what the 
stranger cannot be made to perceive, may even fail 
to comprehend, for the outward and visible sign of the 
living spirit that actuates the Church is but faint and 
imperfect, even as performance is so often but an in- 
adequate rendering of intention. Although the sanctity 
of Moscow may not be apparent to the unorthodox, 
the observer will expect some characteristics of motive 
to stand revealed in externals. But to the uninitiated 
the ritual of the Russian Church is bewildering, and 
the true significance of such symbols as are exhibited 
in ecclesiastical architecture and ornament is likely to 
be missed by over accentuating the importance of what- 
ever may be unusual. For many, who are quite ignorant 
of its tenets and practice, the Eastern Church has an 
irresistible fascination ; the danger is that these, on a 
first acquaintance will over-praise such details as they 
may appreciate and too hastily condemn others they 
may not rightly comprehend, and fail to arrive at a 
just conclusion by means of further study when no 
longer attracted by the novelty of the subject. To 
confine oneself to the consideration of externals is in- 
sufficient, being tantamount to the act of one who, 
absolutely ignorant of card games, endeavours to obtain 
an idea of the amusement derived from their play by 
careful examination of the accurate printing and careful 
finish of certain cards in the pack. On the other hand 
an attempt to convey by words alone an accurate idea 
of the full teaching of the Eastern Church is fore- 
doomed to failure, and the most that can be done is to 
indicate the broad lines of the policy that has actuated 
it, and risk such errors as must accrue from possible 
mistranslations of meaning. 


The Story of Moscow 

All Christian races treasure some legend as to the 
conversion of their forefathers by one of the Apostles. 
The Russians are no exception, and, in any event, the 
introduction of Christianity into their country took 
place in the heroic age. 

" Novgorod, a city of great antiquity, having been founded 
by Rha, a grandson of Noah and son of Japhet, was visited by 
the Apostle St Andrew who wished to preach the gospel. 
The people would not listen to him, and having disrobed the 
saint threw him bound into a scalding bath. The saint 
distressed, and almost suffocated by the vapour, called out 
' ISputra ' (I sweat), whence the name Russia. Other histories 
state that the conversion of the race took place some thousand 
years later, when, strange as it may appear, the Polyans were 
first called Russ, as some think from ' ros,' the old German 
name for ' horse.' There is a tradition that Vladimir the 
Great, having conquered fresh territory, became tired of his 
pagan gods and expressed a desire to embrace a newer faith. 
With the Christianity of Rome he would have nothing to do, 
for, he said, his relations in the west had embraced that, and 
yet were always at war and without good fortune. The Kara'im 
Jews of South Russia wished to convert him, but when he 
learned that they were exiled from the land of their fathers 
and had no country of their own, he refused, saying they were 
receiving the harvest of their sins and that he had no wish to 
cause his people to share their punishment. Then hearing 
that at Constantinople another religion was professed he sent 
delegates thither to observe and judge whether or not it would 
suit him. These Russians were astonished at the many lights 
in the temple; were moved by the singing and the stately 
procession of deacons, sub-deacons and others to and from the 
sacristy, and, particularly, at the humble manner in which the 
people prostrated themselves when the priests appeared. The 
ritual they did not understand and asked their guides what it 
all meant. ' All that we have seen,' they said, ' is awful and 
majestic, but what seems to us supernatural is the young men 
who have white wings and dazzling robes, and cry " Holy ! 
Holy ! Holy 1 " in mid-air this truly surprises us.' ' What ? ' 
answered the guides, ' do you not know that angels come down 
from heaven to our services ? ' ' You are right,' said the 
Russians ; ' it is enough more we do not wish to see ; let us 
return to our country and tell of that which we have already 


Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

If the early chronicles may be trusted, the Bible was 
first translated into Slavic by Cyril and Methodius, two 
Greek monks of Byzantium, about the year 863, and 
so prior to the advent of the Norseman Rurik. In all 
probability, the faith was spread by proselytising clergy, 
in part helped by the devotion of the noble women of 
Byzantium who wedded with the savage Ros, and from 
the first was wholly independent of the civil power. 

Of persecution there was little ; Kiev furnished one 
Voeroeger martyr, and, as elsewhere among heathen, 
the Christian religion appears to have been readily 
embraced. Before the Kremlin was raised, before 
Moscow was, the church was represented on the banks 
of the Moskva by the little wooden chapel "spass na 
Boru." Ivan Kalita was one of the first to recognise 
the usefulness of the church as an adjunct to civil and 
military power ; he made priests not only welcome in 
Moscow but all important there. How the reigning 
princes caused the church in Moscow to rival in authority 
that of Kiev and, later, to attain supremacy throughout 
Russia, has already been stated. Of equal importance 
to the work initiated by any Tsar were the services of 
St Sergius, founder of the great monastery at Troitsa, 
which at one time possessed immense tracts of land and 
owned more than 100,000 serfs. Sergius was born at 
Great Rostov, and in his youth passed some time near 
Moscow, and later, having a dozen disciples and the aid 
of the Patriarch of Constantinople, helped greatly the 
colonisation of Russia by sending out monks trained at 
Troitsa. He lived the life of a hermit, and even when 
abbot did his full share of the menial labour. A commonly 
seen picture represents him as on old man seated on a 
rough bench sharing his piece of bread with a bear. 
Then came St Peter, an apostle sent from Mace- 
donia, who, as a sign " passed through the fire " un- 
injured ; after converting many he settled at Kiev and 


The Story of Moscow 

was of great assistance to George Danielovich in raising 
the clerical status of Moscow, and to his " incorruptible 
remains " many miracles are attributed. A large number 
of relics assigned to him are still preserved in the 
Uspenski Sobor and the sacristy of the Patriarchs. 
Next in importance to Moscow was Alexis, the Metro- 
politan, afterwards canonised. From the earliest 
times, the clergy, living the life of the people and not 
that of the military caste, had great influence with 
citizens and peasants : many times the church has 
raised the spirit of the nation when oppressed by foreign 
invaders. It spurred on Ivan III. to overthrow the 
Mongol rule, and stirred up the people to repulse the 
Poles and secure national independence. One source 
of its power has been the use of the vernacular in all 
services ; the church most certainly during the centuries 
of Tartar dominion also preserved the Slavic tongue 
from foreign dialects. The clergy have always held 
it their chief duty to pass on to their successors their 
faith as they received it. Schism is not tolerated ; the 
slightest modification of ritual is forbidden. The 
Metropolitans of Moscow were long able to preserve 
the independence of the church against the encroach- 
ments of the reigning princes ; Ivan the Terrible's 
chief plaint against the clergy was that they exercised 
their privilege of forbidding the execution of those 
whom he had condemned to death. Boris Godunov 
gave Moscow a Patriarch, and added to the power 
of the church by appointing seven of the clergy to 
seats in the States Council. When, in 1615, the Tsar 
Michael met his father, the Patriarch Philaret, on the 
banks of the Pressenaia (near the Drogomilov Bridge) 
both bowed low and remained long recumbent, unwill- 
ing that either should consider the head of the church 
superior or inferior to the head of the state. From 
that time until Philaret's death in 1639 father and son 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

practically ruled conjointly. Nikon was scarce content 
to be the equal of his sovereign, and ranked the church 
above the state : he fell. Peter the Great scornfully 
suppressed the Patriarchate, but did not arrogate to 
himself the powers of the head of the church, substi- 
tuting a synod to be elected from the hierarchy he 
himself appointed. So it remains to the present day, the 
reigning monarch having no right, from his position, to 
interfere in spiritual affairs, yet still controlling the ad- 
ministration of church law. 

In matters of belief the Eastern church nearly approaches the 
Anglican, the main divergence is that whereas the Anglican 
and Roman churches agree that the Holy Ghost proceeds from 
the Father and the Son, the Eastern Church holds that it pro- 
ceeds from the Father only. The bible may be read ; the church 
may interpret its teaching, "for the traditions of the church 
have been maintained uncorrupted through the influence of 
the Holy Spirit." God the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost, " perfectly equal in nature and dignity," may alone be 
worshipped ; but homage may be paid to the Virgin Mary, 
and reverence shown to the saints, to ikons and to relics. 
That this may not be abused, bishops at their consecration 
are requested to promise that " honour shall be shown to God 
only, not to the sacred ikons, and that no false miracle shall 
be ascribed to them. . . . The moshi or incorruptible remains 
which are so greatly venerated, are the corpses of those long 
dead, whose burial-place has been forgotten and is made known 
by a supernatural manifestation. These remains must not 
be subject to the ordinary process of decay, and may possess 
such virtue as to miraculously cure the sick which is the 
quality usually attributed to them." 

The ecclesiastical architecture of Moscow, or of 
Russia, is not so complex as it appears to be at first 
sight ; originally the place for Christian worship was 
but a square log-hut ; add an apse at the east end, 
cover the building with a dome roof supporting a cross 
to indicate its sacred character, and the external structure 
of the primitive church is complete. Instead of a dome 
roof it was found easier, as larger buildings became 

M 177 

The Story of Moscow 

necessary, to cover with the dome only the centre of 
the church, which was still further elevated to make 
more prominent the dome and cross denoting the 
purpose of the building. Three apses, symbolic of the 
Trinity, took the place of one ; five and seven are 
sometimes found. When the idea of the original 
whole dome roof was expressed by four small domes 
arranged around the higher central one, the model 
became the permanent type from which all other forms 
have been elaborated. The primitive type is best 
exemplified in the church of St Michael within the 
Chudov monastery, but the cathedrals of the Assump- 
tion and of the Archangels, on the Sobornia Ploshchad 
of the Kremlin, will serve equally well to illustrate the 
permanent form. The origin and development of the 
bulbous dome, as well as the size, position and number 
of secondary domes, may be traced by comparing the 
various old churches in South Russia, and those of 
wood, formerly or at present existing in " wooden " 
Russia. For this purpose a convenient series of framed 
drawings is to be found on stands in Room /3 of the 
Historical Museum. They confirm what has already 
been stated in the preceding chapter, concerning the 
origin of Russian architecture, and show that the 
number of domes some churches have seventeen, if 
not more is immaterial, since all should be so arranged 
as to increase the importance of the central one. 
Those in which all are equal in size and height as 
the roof over the chapels of the Terem are quite 
exceptional. The chief modification arose from the 
necessity of preserving the structure and its valued 
contents from the great cold of the winter and the ex- 
cessive moisture of the summer. To overcome the first 
difficulty the church was surrounded with a gallery ; to 
obviate the second the floor of the church raised to a 
higher storey 5 when the two were combined as in 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

many churches of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
century, some elaboration of proaulion and Kriltso was 
natural. The best specimens of this class are the 
churches of St Nicholas of the Great Cross on the 
Ilyinka, and of the Assumption on the Pokrovka ; 
the ordinary design is that of the porches and approach 
to Vasili Blajenni, and of the Blagovieshchenski Sobor 
before the ground was raised to its present level. 

The belfry, a somewhat late comer to the Russian 
church, was usually a separate building adjacent to, 
but not a component part of, the church itself. When 
masonry superseded wood, the old designs were for the 
most part retained : so possibly the only other im- 
portant point of general application is the subsequent 
employment of the tapering spire and its modifica- 
tions of superposed arches, etc. to support the dome 
and cross, instead of the cylindrical shaft peculiar to 
Russian architecture, which last was evidently derived 
from round towers of very remote origin. The windows 
are small and unimportant often mere oblong slits in 
the wall and, though the accepted form admits of 
little modification towards the elaboration of elegance 
and grace in the design, and the decoration is limited 
by the ecclesiastical objection to carved figures and 
climatic conditions which preclude the employment of 
projecting mouldings and all fine work in high relief 
the brilliant colouring and mural decorations of plane 
surfaces convey an impression of richness, which, com- 
bined with the absence of the usual and conspicuousness 
of strange decorations, magnify the whole, in many 
instances, into the resemblance of whatever the imagina- 
tion may picture as most ornate and brilliant. 

In essentials the interior arrangements of all the 
churches are similar : east of the pillars that support 
the central dome, the church is divided by the 
ikonostas a development of the rood-screen which 


separates the officiating priests from the worshippers. 
In old churches seats were placed round the walls and 
stalls provided for persons of high rank, but for long it 
has been customary for the congregation to stand during 
the services. Behind the ikonostas is the sanctuary ; 
there females may not enter, nor any male if physically 
imperfect ; it is disclosed to the worshippers during the 
celebration of Mass by opening the ** Royal Doors " 
in the centre of the ikonostas. There are in all 
churches sacred ikons, having the place of honour on 
the ikonostas ; decorative and illustrative pictures are 
placed there also, and the same as frescoes, or other- 
wise around the central columns and along the walls 
of the church. Usually the north wall is appointed 
for those pertaining to the saint to whom the church is 
dedicated ; the south wall to the seven councils, the 
west to other sacred subjects. Although the ikonostas 
is the equivalent of the rood-screen in the old English 
churches, it is not only always a fixture, but sometimes 
a solid partition of masonry, being really that barrier 
which shuts off the Holy of Holies, that may be 
entered by the consecrated priests alone, from the rest 
of the temple. It is always decorated, but the high 
ikonostas, having five, or even seven, tiers of pictures 
is a development later than the fifteenth century. 
The " Royal Doors " must have representations of 
the Annunciation and the four Evangelists, since 
through this entrance came the glad tidings of the 
Eucharist ; right and left of the doors the Saviour and 
the Madonna ; also, usually, Adam, as the first fallen, 
and the Penitent Thief as the first redeemed ; above, 
the Trinity ; Abraham entertaining the three angels 
and John the Baptist most frequently figure on the 
screen, and, on the pillars facing the entrance, the 
Publican and Pharisee as symbolic of an all inclusive 
congregation of worshippers. 
1 80 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

In the Sanctuary is a tabernacle or Sinai, upon the 
altar, and over it a baldachino on which the cross is 
laid horizontally or nearly so. In the apse behind 


the altar is the thronos or seat of the head of the church, 
with other seats for priests on both sides ; the choir is 
a raised dias before the ikonostas. 

The Russian cross has eight points. To the Latin 
cross are added the titulus, and a lower diagonal cross- 
piece which is assumed to be a rest for the feet. Post 
hoc, propter hoc, and that this rest slants is said to be 
due to the fact that Christ was lame ; others think that 


The Story of Moscow 

its purpose is merely to give the idea of perspective of 
the hill Golgotha on which the cross was placed, and 
others as indicating the earthquake, whilst those versed 
in mystic symbolism will recognise a totally distinct 
signification. 1 To these last too, the accepted explana- 
tions of the crescent from which the cross rises will be 
insufficient. It was common in Russia prior to the 
Mongol occupation, so is not the result of placing crosses 
upon mosques, or intended to denote the subjugation of 
Mahommedanism to Christianity. More probable is 
the explanation, that in ancient pictures the Virgin is 
shown standing upon the crescent, and the cross was later 
placed by the Russian ecclesiastics to denote tha* the 
cross issues from the Mother of God. Maxim, the 
Greek, in the sixteenth century, declared that the 
crescent represented Upsilon, the initial of D^OS, and 
so is emblematical of the uplifting of the cross ; but if 
its application as a sign of Christian dogma is open to 
various constructions, all will at once recognise the sign 
as one of the most ancient and general of mystic symbols. 
The ecclesiastical art of Russia is of a different 
nature to that of any school of the west. The ikons, 
or sacred pictures, must be exact copies of the originals, 
thus the practice supports Gibbon's contention that 
the religious value of a sacred image depends for its 
efficacy upon its resemblance to the orignal. 2 In 
Moscow there are several pictures of the Saviour " not 
made with hands," being in that respect, and that only, 
similar to the Veronica and the miraculous image ot 
Edessa. They are not alike, and their origin is not 

1 The Russian cross is derived from the old eastern form of 
the Greek letter */'. 

2 " By a slow though inevitable progression the honours of 
the original were transferred to the image ; the merit and 
effect of a copy depends upon its resemblance with the 
original." Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
chapter xlix. 


Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

known, but it is conjectured that the initials O 5 H, on 
the nimbus, have been wrongly interpreted as the initials 
of ot, otsa, Nebesnavo, which means " From Our Father 
on High" instead of On, Otets, Nash "He is Our 
Father." The Greek characters were little known in 
Russia, and one of the pictures has this legend in 
Greek O.n.N. In the same connection it is worth 
noting that our I.H.S. is a misreading into Latin of 
IH2, the Greek contraction of IHSoDs, where the long 
e was mistaken for a capital H, and the dash above it 
developed into a cross. The ordinary ikons are re- 
stricted to fixed types ; the artist therefore has never 
needed to create, only to reproduce. There are no 
Russian Madonnas, all are replicas of pictures brought 
from Greece or Byzantium ; " the ikon painter knows 
but one costume, for all places and all times it changeth 
not ; tradition fixes the form of the head, the pose, 
the proportion, the attitudes and the attributes." Most 
are produced by monks and probationers who follow 
the instructions given in a tenth century MS. by 
Dionysius of Mount Athos. Rigorously it is only the 
features of the saint that must be exactly reproduced ; 
in practice it is customary to cover all but the face and 
hands with thin metal gold, silver, or gilt, and to 
ornament the setting lavishly. In the seventeenth 
century, the golden age of Muscovite ecclesiasticism, 
there were several branches of ikon painting, not differ- 
ing sufficiently to warrant the appellation of " schools." 
These were known as the Imperial or Court style ; the 
Village, the Strogonov, and the Monastic. Novgorod 
would have the faces yellow ; the Strogonov insisted 
upon dark green an introduction from Byzantium, and 
sometimes known as Khorsunski. Black virgins are 
not unknown the result of time upon impure pigments ; 
those with three small scratches on the face are copies 
of the Iberian Mother of God, a twelfth century ikon 


The Story of Moscow 

of the Virgin. Graven images are not allowed in the 
Russian Church, being held to be a violation of the 
second commandment. The only exception is that of 
St Nicholas. Holy Statues were abolished by order 
of the Patriarch Philaret, and when these were removed 
from the churches all went well until hands were laid 
upon one of the representatives of the patron Saint ; 
no force could stir that ; where, by extraordinary means, 
the statue was broken from the pedestal, the image of 
the saint reappeared. This is the only figure seen in 
high relief, and is usually made with the model of 
a church in his hand. The popularity of the saint 
may be estimated from the fact, that at one time there 
were as many as 1 1 8 churches in Moscow dedicated 
to St Nicholas. 

The rites of the Russian Church are complex, and 
to the unorthodox, perplexing. The celebrant by the 
minute observance of minor details gives to every act a 
symbolic meaning, and to even the least significant of 
them some dogma of the church is attached. The 
service is in Slavonic, of which the ordinary people 
do not understand the letter, but can follow the general 
meaning ; it is impressive apart from its significance, 
and is intended so to be. It commences with a call 
to worship the vozglass singing of psalms ; a series 
of prayers ektenia for the welfare of the church, 
intoned ; the evangels or epistles also intoned ; " choral 
and part-singing of unequalled harmony and richness ; 
prayers ; consecration of the elements ; administration 
of the sacrament, which the priest takes every service, 
and the congregation at will, but at least once yearly ; 
thanksgiving, and the parting benediction ; chanting 
and incense-burning are frequent throughout, and 
asperging is practised at the commencement and termina- 
tion. For the greater part of the time the " Royal 
doors " are closed : the deacons remain before the 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

ikonostas, but now and again some enter the Sanctuary 
for a short time. From time to time priests and 
acolytes pass to and fro among the congregation, 
incensing all the sacred ikons in turn. The voice of 
the officiating priest is raised within, and is answered 
in deep tones by the deacons without. Now from some 
unnoticed corner comes a clear ringing chant from many 
voices, from another a deep single voice is heard inton- 
ing the epistle, or evangel, of the day; then suddenly the 
Royal doors fly open and a glimpse is obtained of the 
celebrant through thick rolling clouds of incense ; the 
people prostrate themselves and the doors close." Later 
the priest emerges and the service has concluded to 
the unorthodox stranger of any creed it has been 
almost meaningless. 

The history of Moscow is so intermingled with that 
of the Russian Church, and the cathedrals of the 
Kremlin and private chapels of the palace the scene of 
so many notable events, that the reader will not need 
a recountal of the stories concerning the historical 
characters who have made them famous. Here it will 
suffice if the minor details to be examined are enumer- 
ated, and the tale of the struggle between orthodoxy 
and dissent succinctly related. 


The Cathedral of the Assumption, formerly known 
as that of the Patriarchs, originated with the Metro- 
politan Peter, who said to Ivan " Kalita," " If thou 
wishest that my old age be graced with peace, content, 
and fulness, thou wilt raise on this site a grand temple 
to our Holy Mother of God, then shalt thou likewise 
be happy, become the most illustrious of the princes of 
our age, and thy race powerful throughout the earth." 
So in 1326 Ivan erected a fine wooden church, which, 
in 1472, when the wood buildings were being replaced 


The Story of Moscow 

by those of stone, was taken down and an attempt made 
by Russian artisans to build its equal in brick. Before 


this work was complete the walls fell, and Aristotle of 
Bologna, who had been entrusted with the removal of 
the Campanile there, and the repair of the leaning tower 
of Cento, was ordered to construct the cathedral anew. 
Aristotle taught the Muscovites how to make larger 
1 86 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

and harder bricks than the pantiles to which they were 
accustomed ; how to turn an arch and make vaulted 
roofs. He took as his model for this cathedral the 
church of the Virgin in Vladimir and used the white 
stone of Kolomna hewn into rectangular blocks which 
he fastened together with iron cramps. 

Structure The foundations are 15 feet below the surface, 
but the floor of the cathedral was originally seven or more feet 
lower than at present; height to cupola 128 feet. The walls 
were strengthened in 1626 after the injury done by the Poles ; 
in 1684 the domes were covered with gilded copper, and the 
mural decorations restored after the fire of All Saint's day, 
1737, and the French occupation, but otherwise the edifice, is 
practically as completed in 1497. 

The South Porch is closed by the Golden Gates of Korsoun, 
which were carried from that town to Suzdal, and thence to 
Moscow they are actually of coppered iron gilt, divided into 
twenty compartments exhibiting scenes from biblical history, 
and below Apollo, Plato, and mythological figures. Before 
them the Grand Princes of Muscovy were invested with the 
authority of the Khan by his bashkak during the centuries 
of the Mongol supremacy. The Royal entrance is by the 
western doors ; the public entrance by those on the north 

The interior is remarkable for its ikonostas and ikons. The 
screen is of masonry and descends 10 feet below the surface ; 
it is adorned with frescoes, which may be inspected only when 
the sacred ikons are removed for that special purpose. The 
upper range has been recently restored to its condition prior 
to the French invasion, when the old one was stripped of all 
its precious metal ; the great silver chandelier of 2940 Ibs., 
made in England in 1630, was put in the casting- pot and 
scales suspended from its place ; horses were stabled in the 
chapel, and tethered to the coffins of the metropolitans. Not 
content with robbing the sanctuary of its precious metals the 
French deliberately placed the mannikins from the old suits 
of armour in the Orujenni Palata as idols in conspicuous 
positions about the church. The chandeliers are of silver 
some 900 Ibs. of which in the one from the central cupola is 
that recovered by the Cossacks from the retreating French : 
some five tons of precious metal are in the present ikonostas. 

The ikont include the most prized Mary of Vladimir attributed 
to St Luke, which was brought from Tsar Grad Con- 

I8 7 

The Story of Moscow 

stantinople to Kief, taken by Andrew Bogoloobski to 
Vladimir and brought to Moscow on the Tartar invasion. 
It is regarded as miraculous, having saved the city from 
Tamerlane, and on subsequent occasions. Tsars and people 
alike in past generations have regarded this picture as their 
Palladium. Of its artistic merits it would be idle to write ; 
black with age and discoloured by the accidents incidental 
to preservation in an oft burned city, it is as represented in 
the frontispiece. Completely enveloped, but hands and face, in 
precious metal and handsome garniture, it exhibits a richness 
of decoration few articles of vertu can equal ; the gems alone 
being valued at upwards of ^100,000, and the great emerald 
itself at ; 1 0,000. The next ikon of importance is that of the 
Holy Virgin of Jerusalem, which, according to tradition, was 
the work of the apostles. Taken to Constantinople in the 
fifth century and to Kherson in the tenth, it came thence to 
Moscow but, others say, it is but a copy, the original having 
disappeared during the French occupation. On the right of 
the royal doors is the image of our Saviour in the golden 
chasuble, painted by the Greek emperor Manuel, and brought 
from Novgorod the Great in 1478. By its side is an ikon 
with most brilliant colouring representing the Assumption, 
which is said to be the work of the metropolitan Peter, the 
founder of the church ; but if it be not his handicraft is still 
a remarkable specimen of the ikon painter's art in Russia of 
the fourteenth century. These, with others, are all on the 
lower tier. On the tiers above are usually placed : highest, 
the Madonna and the Infant Jesus, the fathers of the 
church in pre-mosaic days, portraits of persons mentioned in 
Genesis ; on the second stage, the prophets from Moses to 
Jesus Christ ; on the third, incidents in the life of the Saviour 
illustrative of church feasts ; on the fourth, portraits of the 
saints of the orthodox church ; on the fifth, the sacred 

Other futures in the cathedral include portraits of the 
patriarchs and saints ; many frescoes on a gold ground are 
ranged around the four pillars that support the central cupola ; 
and, on the walls, the martyrdoms of orthodox saints are 
depicted. A bas-relief, supposed to represent St George 
slaying the dragon, has been identified by Sneguirev as once 
part of a triumphal arch the Christians erected in Rome to 
Constantine the Great. 

The Sanctuary has a tabernacle of precious metal (17 Ibs. 
gold and 17 Ibs. silver) on the grand altar, which contains the 
Host and formerly also held a number of important state 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

papers which were transferred to St Petersburg in 1880. 
Also a large Bible of Natalia Naryshkin set with gems worth 
several thousand pounds. 

The Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul is before the most northern 
apse, with the tomb of St Peter immediately on the right when 
entering ; just beyond it is that of the metropolitan St 
Theognitus ; on the left are sacred relics: (a) the "Holy 
Coat " or a portion of the " tunic " worn by the Saviour ; (6) 
a nail of the true cross ; (c~) the right hand of St Andrew the 
Apostle ; (</) the head of St Gregory the theologian ; and 
(e~) the head of St John Chrysostom. The shrines were profaned 
by Tokhtamysh, and ransacked by the French. Here in 
olden times the rulers of the principalities in vassalage 
to Moscow embraced the cross and swore fealty, and here 
the metropolitans were appointed to their office. 

The ChafelofSt Z)i//rof Thessalonica, called "The Peaceable," 
is on the south side of the sanctuary. It contains the oldest 
tomb in Moscow, that of Yuri, brother of Ivan " Kalita," 
and it was in this Chapel that Yuri Glinski, brother of Ivan 
the Terrible's mother, was slain. 

The Chapel of the Virgin Mary is reached by a flight of steps 
near the south apse, for it is situated under the southern 
cupola. There the patriarchs were elected. In its sanctuary 
are: (a) Copy of the gospels, printed in Moscow and pre- 
sented to the boy -Tsars, Ivan and Peter, with beautiful initials 
and rich binding, the work of foreign artisans in the palace; 
() an illuminated psalter of the fifteenth century ; (c) an 
illuminated MS. of the gospels by Russian scribes, 1664; 
(</) a cross of cypress wood, enclosing a piece of the true cross ; 
(e) cross of the Emperor Constantine ; (/) Jasper vases which 
were ornamented with the Latin cross they were brought from 
Novgorod, having belonged to the old monastery there, by 
Ivan. IV. ; (g~) a sacramental chalice, which was presented to 
Monomachus by Alexis Cominus, and is used to the present 
day for the Holy Oil with which the Tsars are anointed at 
their coronation. 

The Tombs of the Patriarchs are ranged along the western 
wall ; that of Jonas is on the north-west, and near the ikonostas 
is the shrine of St Philip, murdered in Tver by Maluta Skutarov 
to please Ivan IV. 

The Thrones or stalls of the Tsar and Tsaritsa are situated, 
the first between the south column and the south wall, the 
second just before the north column ; the large stall in front of 
the south column is for the Patriarch, and dates from the days 
of Philaret only. The canopy in the south-western corner is 


The Story of Moscow 

for the " Holy Coat " sent by the Shah Abbas, but this is 
usually kept in the altar of the north chapel. 

It is pretty generally known that the Uspenski Sobor is the 
State Cathedral ; that in it the Tsars of Russia must be 
crowned ; there, too, several have been married, foreign princes 
have renounced their faith and accepted the orthodox religion 
prior to marriage with the Royal princesses, and there Peter 
the Great caused his son Alexis to repudiate his right to 
succeed to the throne : actually it is the mausoleum of the 
Patriarchs and heads of the Orthodox Church. 

There is nothing in its architecture that demands 
comment, the external mural pictures are common 
place, and from the artistic standpoint the work that 
merits closest attention and highest praise is the open 
scroll, bent and hammered metal on the lattices of the 
different shrines, and almost equally good is much of 
the chiselled, moulded and other decorative metal work 
on the ikonostas. It is a typical church, richer in 
precious metal, sacred ikons and holy relics than other 
churches in Moscow ; it is the pious wish of the 
guardians of the other churches to make theirs even as 
is this. 


The Cathedral of the Archangel Michael is of even 
plainer appearance than the Uspenski ; its south wall 
has been propped by a common buttress which, pierced 
for the lancet windows, gives that side much the 
appearance of a fortress. Its history is similar to that 
of the other cathedrals ; the first wooden church on the 
site was erected in the twelfth century. Ivan " Kalita " 
built it anew as the place of sepulture for himself and 
his descendants. Ivan III. demolished that church 
and employed the Italian Aleviso to construct the 
present edifice, consecrated in 1 500. It has suffered 
severely at different times, especially during the French 
occupation, when an attempt was made to destroy it by 
exploding a large quantity of spirit the French brought 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

within for the purpose, but this served only to scatter 
the tombs, wreck the interior and spring the south 
wall. The church contains the remains of the princes 
and all the Tsars of Moscow. The petitions of the 
people laid upon the tombs of the Tsars were taken and 
read by Peter I. himself. Most of the religious cere- 
monies peculiar to this church relate to masses for the 
dead, and homage paid to the memory of ancestors. It 
has the usual rectangular form, the four central columns, 
the five cupolas, which the people think always dedicated 
to the Saviour and the four evangelists. The chapel 
on the west side is a later addition the sole remaining 
one of four, which existed in the seventeenth century. 
On the south side is a small chamber which was the 
iz-ba, or Palace of Justice, and below it are vaulted 
arches which extend almost the whole length of the 
Kremlin ; the original paving is now some 1 2 feet 
below the level of the squares adjoining. Here the. 
Tsar's gift of money was scattered at his coronation. 
The most noteworthy objects in the church are : the 
ikonostas, high, brilliant and sparkling with gems ; the 
excellent metal-work of the shrines ; the mural paint- 
ings portraits of the Tsars whose tombs are below, 
and the richly worked palls over the tombs. 

The Ikonostat is of five stages ; the sacred ikons are : (a) The 
Virgin " Beneficent," brought to Moscow by the Tsaritsa 
Sophia Vitovtovna; (K) the Virgin of Tikhvin, the ikon of 
the Tsaritsa Maria Nagoi, mother of the murdered Tsarevich, 
Dmitri ; (c) St Basil the Great, near the south wall ; (</) St 
Simeon Stylite. 

The tombs of forty-seven princes of the line of Rurik lie upon 
the floor : though not arranged in chronological order, no 
difficulty will be found in recognising any one of them. Only 
one Emperor, Peter II., grandson of Peter the Great, is buried 
here ; those of the Tsars Michael and Alexis Romanof are on 
the right hand near the first pillar, surrounded by those of their 
sons and grandsons. Near is the tomb of the murdered Dmitri, 
whose portrait in gold is hung on the pillar over the coffin. 

The Story of Moscow 

The silver candelabra before it was presented by the inhabitants 
of Uglitch where he was murdered when but six years old. Vasili, 
the blind, is buried near the ikonostas ; and by his side lies Ivan 
III., the maker of middle Moscow and uniter of the Russian- 
lands. Near the first pillar on the left is the tomb of Alexander, 
Tsar of Kazan : near the second pillar, the Tsarevich Peter, son 
of Ibrahim, and grandson of Mamotiakov, once Tsar of Kazan. 
The remains of Ivan the Terrible are near the high altar, a 
testimony of the forgiving temperament of prelates of the 
orthodox church. The tomb is covered with a black pall, 
indicating that he had been received into the church as a 
monk before his death. Horsey states that persons passing 
his tomb uttered a prayer that he might never rise again : to 
this day, twice yearly, a special mass is celebrated invoking 
forgiveness for that " burden of sins voluntary or involuntary 
known to themselves or to themselves unknown " committed 
on earth by those whose bodies are buried within the church. 
In a side chapel, dedicated to the martyred Tsar, are the re- 
mains of Michael Skopin Shooiski, the popular military hero 
of the " Times of Trouble," and a bronze shrine covers the 
remains of Chernigof and his boyard Theodore, martyred by 
the Tartars. 

The decorations are mural pictures, dry frescoes of portraits of 
the Tsars, the best that of Vasili II. habited as a monk : also 
illustrations of the Last Judgment, the " Symbol of Faith," and 
miracles of the Archangel Michael, which represent Russian 
pictorial art of the seventeenth century. 

The lacritty contains some very beautiful sacerdotal robes 
presented to officiating priests on state occasions ; the gems on 
the richer sakkos being exceptionally beautiful. There is also 
an ornate copy of the gospels brought from Novgorod in 1 125 ; 
it has picturesque portraits of the evangelists, and characteristic 
illuminated initials ; the golden filigree work on the cover is 
excellent. A psalter of 1594 has elegant marginal decorations. 
There were also rich crosses of gold and silver the one that 
belonged to Ivan IV. with large pearls, best worth examination 
reliquaries, and a curious gold chalice some 7 Ibs. weight. 
Many will be more interested in the fine needle and jewelry 
work on the elaborated palls of which the church has a great 
many exquisite specimens. 

The relics are not numerous : those which formally belonged 
to the Tsar Alexis are within a reliquary of the cross above 
mentioned : and a drop of the blood of John the Baptist is 
shown under a crystal in one of the ikons. 

I 9 2 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 


The Cathedral of the Annunciation is of a more 
elaborate and picturesque style than either the Uspenski 
or the Archangelski, which, in part, may be attributed 


to the fact that it is more intimately connected with the 
Royal Palaces than they are. Reached directly by the 
palace terrace, it is the complement of the Krasnoe 
Kriltso, and was used for the baptism of the royal 
children, the confessions of the Tsars, and religious 
ceremonies of a semi- state character. Its earlier de- 

N 193 

The Story of Moscow 

signations were, among others, the "Church of the 
Grand-Ducal Court," " Church of the Tsarian Vesti- 
bule," and " Church of the Tsarian Treasury," which 
clearly indicate the court uses for which it has been 
employed. It has nine cupolas ; the roof of pointed 
vaults rising tier above tier is most characteristic of 
Muscovite architecture, and the entrance is by a flight 
of steps communicating with a covered gallery which 
surrounds the church, see page 1 78. Its early history 
is that of the others ; first, a wooden church erected 
by Andrew in 1291, rebuilt in 1397; in 1409 the 
walls decorated with pictures by Rublev ; in part 
demolished by Ivan III., who built again from the 
first floor up, and, completed in 1482, painted during 
the reign of Vasili Ivanovich ; damaged by the fire 
of 1547 Ivan IV. restored it, and furnished cupolas 
covered with the gold he seized at Novgorod. The 
Poles in 1610 and the French in 1812 both spoiled it, 
but the last only partially, the fact that most of its 
treasures had been taken away to Vologda probably 
misleading them so that they did not make a thorough 
search for the valuables left within. During its recent 
restoration the architect found that earlier decorations 
existed beneath the outer coverings of plaster and paint ; 
they were carefully uncovered and remain exposed. 

The entrance is by the northern porch within the 
railed-ofF Sobornia Ploshchad ; among the first mural 
paintings on the right are portraits of the ancient 
philosophers, Aristotle, Plato, Ptolemy, Socrates, 
Thucydides, Zeno, and others, with lengthy quotations 
from their writings on tablets they support ; beyond, 
representations of the Saviour and the apostles, these 
pictures dating from 1771, the year of the great 
plague. The side posts of the doorways, richly 
carved, are of early sixteenth century native work and 
some of the best specimens now extant. The interior 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

of the church is small, and looks even smaller than it 
really is owing to an elevated tribune, or gallery, against 
the west wall, which served for members of the Tsar's 
family to participate in the services without being exposed 
to public view, the Tsar himself being on the ground 
floor, opposite the ikonostas. The parquet is of Jasper 
mosaic, a present from the Shah to Alexis. Concern- 
ing it, an enthusiastic, travelled native author remarks : 
" It is a facsimile of a mosaic in St Mark's, Venice ; 
the only difference being that whereas the floor of St 
Mark's is uneven, to represent the ripples of the sea 
and symbolise that Venice rules on the foaming waves, 
this is quite regular and uniform, emblematic of the 
vast steppes of which Moscow is the sovereign." * 

Even more interesting are the old mural paintings, 
pre-Raphaelite in point of time and in the argot of the 
studio " more than pre-Raphaelite " in style. The 
subjects are biblical : the adventures of Jonah ; the 
mysterious visions recorded in the Apocalypse ; the 
punishment of the damned ; the glories of Paradise, 
with much else that is curious. They are already the 
joy of a " school " and the admiration of Russian 
antiquaries. Though crude, unreal, and not a little 
absurd now, in the long ago, among the uncultured 
people to whom they were first presented, they cannot 
have failed to impress beholders powerfully, notwith- 
standing that their influence upon the art of the time 
was infinitesimal. 

The columns are square, from them hang the chains and 
jewelled crosses worn by former princes. The ikonostas is of 
five stages, separated by rails of brass and bronze columns 

* This church has the further distinction of being the first 
supplied with a public clock, which was placed there by 
Lazarus Serbin, in the seventeenth century. About the south 
porch the last public discussions were held with dissenters led 
by the able Pafnuty. 


The Story of Moscow 

the precious metals with which it was formerly covered were 
looted by the French. The more remarkable ikons are (a) 
one of the Saviour's agony a typical specimen of Byzantine 
work in the fourteenth century ; (K) the richly decorated Holy 
Mother of God, known as the Donski Virgin, because carried 
by Dmitri at Kulikovo; the ikon only was saved, in 1812, 
the frame was mistaken by the French for copper and has 
been repaired ; the ornaments are modern, except the eighteen 
portraits of saints on the margin, which are foreign. 

Near the altar are the two crosses of Korsun. There are 
four chapels on the higher storey ; they are quite independent 
of the church with separate entrances from the gallery. That 
dedicated to St George is quite modern, but that of the 
Virgin has one of the most primitive rood-screens to be found 
in Moscow ; on it the ikons are set round with great flat 
bands of silver; like that of the Saviour, and that of the 
archangel Gabriel, it quite escaped pillage in 1812. The 
sacristy in a small building on the south side is peculiarly 
rich in relics, a complete collection of sacred remains brought 
from Constantinople in 1328. It includes bones of different 
saints contained in thirty-two silver and gilt caskets ; a 
reliquary with the sponge used at the Crucifixion of Christ ; 
a portion of the rod with which He was beaten ; some drops 
of His blood ; spikes from the crown of thorns ; an eight 
pointed cross, of the wood of the " true cross," and a fragment 
of the stone that was rolled away from before the Saviour's 
tomb. To them must be added a great number of Russian 
Tsarian and ecclesiastical antiquities collected in Russia. 


The church of the Transfiguration, known colloqui- 
ally as Spass na Boru, St Saviour's in the Forest, is 
supposed to be on the site of the first building ever 
raised on the Kremlin hill that of the skeet of the 
hermit who inhabited it prior to the tenth century. 
The first stone church there dates from i 330 ; restored 
in 1380, and rebuilt in 1527, and again restored in 
1529, 1554, 1737, and 1856. Still much of its 
architectural primitiveness has been preserved, but it is 
typical of a church with monastery attached, as once 
the case (see page 29). There are now no external 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

mural paintings, but those inside are curious ; the small, 
low belfry is very quaint and the bells now hung there 
are old foreign bells among the first brought to 
Moscow. The central chapel, that of the Transfigura- 
tion, is the oldest, the " Royal Doors " are of primitive 
type. Its sacristy is poor : the relics are those of St 
Stephen the apostle to the Permians, and some frag- 
ments of bones and vestments found during the altera- 
tions in the present century. It is best seen in the early 
morning, a service is held daily, and the church is 
much visited by those about to marry, for, according to 
tradition, Sts Yuri, Samon and Aviva, to whom its side 
chapels are dedicated, are patrons of those whose love 
affairs do not run smooth. On the higher storey is 
the chapel of St Stephen the Permian. 


The Church of the Twelve Apostles and Sacristy 
of the Patriarchs is on the site of a fifteenth century 
church on the north side of the Uspenski Sobor. It 
was built by Nikon and is still used in connection with 
the synod. It is on the second storey, and above it 
is the Chapel of St Philip the private chapel of the 
Patriarchs after Nikon. In the rooms adjoining are 
kept the Holy vessels, most valuable church plate, and 
relics of the patriarchs and the Church. Many are 
contained in the cases arranged round the walls, the 
others may be inspected on application to one of the 
attendants who will expect adm rubl na c^a/z/ or to 
those much interested will be shown by the Sacristan, 
who will explain their use and relate their history. A 
complete catalogue may be had, but the best account is 
that of the learned antiquarian, Sabas, Bishop of Mojaisk, 
whose book is known to all interested in the lore of the 
Eastern Church ; a French translation of it has been 


The Story of Moscow 

published in which the author's name is spelled " Savva." 
Among the more interesting articles of art workmanship 
are the panagies or jewelled crosses worn by the 
Patriarchs and others after consecration to their high 

" Among the objects of greatest antiquity are the sacerdotal 
robes of the high clergy. They are in the case near the altar ; 
the ' Omophorium of the sixth (Ecumenical Council ' of the 
catalogue, is said to have belonged to St Nicholas the wonder- 
worker, Archbishop of Mirliki, and worn by that saint at 
the Council at Nice ; Sabas thinks that it was presented to 
Alexis by Gregory of Nicea who visited Moscow in 1655, with 
letters from the Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople 
testifying to its genuineness. It belonged to the Patriarch of 
Alexandria, who was present at the Assembly of the Three 
Hundred and Eighteen Fathers of the Church, and, latterly, 
opinion inclines to its having originated with him. Equally 
ancient is a mitre, easily recognised from other ' crowns ' 
in the case by its pointed shape, similar to those of ancient 
Byzantium. It was presented to the Tsar Theodore ; the 
donor, M'iletius Piga, of Alexandria, wrote that, apart from 
the gems with which it is adorned and the rich material, its 
age and reputation, it is to be esteemed above its intrinsic value 
because taken to the Council at Ephesus by Cyril, in 431. 
The mitre of the Patriarch Job, 1595, differs from those of later 
date by reason of its very flat top the shape of a tloboot, hat, 
or ancient crown rather than a mitre. The mitres ranged 
with it were constructed by the directions of Nikon, and equal 
in richness and other details the royal crowns. 

" Of croziers and their equivalents there are many specimens, 
the most venerated, however, is that of St Peter, by the altar 
on the Uspenski Sobor, the staff" that passed from pontiff" to 
pontiff through the centuries. There are three of the five in 
the sacristy of tau shape and beautiful, they belonged to 
Philaret ; the others to Nikon. The processional cross of 
Nikon has but four points. Of copes there are forty-one ; the 
oldest is that of Peter, the Metropolitan (i 311), used afterwards 
at the consecration of the Patriarchs. The panagia or pyx worn 
by a bishop, or higher prelate, is often an exquisite piece of 
jewelry. That catalogued as No. 4 is of onyx, with a super- 
posed layer having the crucifixion in relievo; on the reverse, a 
Greek cross, the Emperor Constantine and Helena, his mother. 
It belonged to the Patriarch Job and has a most beautiful setting 


Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

of Russian enamel and niello work of the sixteenth century. 
No. 1 1 is also of onyx, with ruby and pearl decoration, it 
appertained to Peter. No. 3. is a sardonyx of elaborate work- 
manship and unusual size ; it has a reliquary containing a 
fragment of the robe of royal purple with which the Saviour 
was mockingly invested, and is believed to have been produced 
to the order of Ivan IV. to commemorate the birth of Dmitri. 
No. 25 contains an emerald of purest water, three- fifths of an 
inch in diameter. In another is also a fine emerald which 
weighs 38 carats. There are in addition jewels, rings, seals, 
cups, goblets, crosses, and other trinkets of the fathers of the 
Russian Church, and amongst them an object known as the 
' Antik,' which has puzzled the learned. It is a shell of mother- 
of-pearl, shaped like a woman's breast, and on this in fine gold, 
beautifully enamelled, the Gorgon's head, the fanged heads of 
the serpent-locks intertwined and biting each other. It is on 
a base of rock-crystal, gold encrusted, and the medallions 
enamelled with representations of different buildings it has 
figured in the inventory since 1648, when it had a double case 
of dark green velvet. The fine collection of church plate is 
principally of the seventeenth century and later. 

" In the adjoining Mirovarennaya Palata, the Holy Chrism is 
prepared every other year, in strict conformance with the 
original instruction. It is, when prepared, taken in sixteen 
silver phials to the Uspenski Sober and then at a special service 
during Lent (usually Holy Thursday) consecrated by the Metro- 
politan, and further hallowed by the addition of a few drops of 
the oil from the vessel of ' Alabaster ' in which the Holy Chrism 
was first brought into Russia from Constantinople, the vessel 
having never been emptied, since the quantity taken for this 
purpose is immediately replaced by the addition of that newly 
made. The 'Alabaster' is a long-necked flask of copper, 
wholly covered with scales of mother-of-pearl, and is supposed 
to be of the same size and form as that box of ointment Mary 
Magdalene offered Jesus. 

"The library of the Synod contains about one thousand 
Slavic MSS. on Church rites and copies of the scriptures, many 
between the seventh and twelfth centuries, and five hundred 
Greek MSS. of even earlier date. They were got together 
by the patriarch Nikon for the purpose of comparison, and 
restoring the ritual of the Russian Church to its original, or 
at least earlier, rule. The printed books have mostly been 
removed to other collections, and the MSS. are of interest only 
to those well acquainted with the rites of the early Christian 
Church, and such students are readily granted access to them." 


The Story of Moscow 

Such a brief account does scant justice to one of the 
finest and most complete collections of ecclesiastical 
furniture the world has produced; but, interesting as 
some of the objects are to all beholders, it is to the 
student of ecclesiasticism that they will appeal with 
greatest force. To him also, the technique of ritual ; 
the customs appertaining to the dispersion of relics 
among newly-built churches and restoration of those 
injured by time and accident ; together with many other 
matters of Church rule and procedure which find illus- 
tration in this collection, should prove both attractive 
and instructive. Of greater general interest is the story 
of the struggle between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the 
rise of heresy and states of different forms of dissent ; 
that dramatic movement of ecclesiasticism which is 
world wide, continuous, and of perennial concern to all. 

Whatever heresies may have existed in early Russia, 
with the ascendancy of Moscow these perished, and the 
prelates had only to guard against the wiles of Rome 
and to stay its power on the confines of the kingdom. 
During the reign of Vasili the Blind the unsuccessful 
attempt of the Metropolitan Isidor to introduce Romish 
practices intensified the conservatism of the prelates. 
In 1582, Anthony Possevin, a Jesuit emissary of 
the Pope, Gregory XIII., had long discussions with 
Ivan the Terrible in the Granovitaia Palata respecting 
the union of the Churches. Ivan was outspoken: the 
emissary returned unsatisfied. 

The false Dmitri's view has already been given : he 
was overthrown and the supremacy of the orthodox 
prelates increased by Boris Godunov's initiation of the 
Patriarchate. The Tsar Michael and his father Philaret 
appear to have been always in accord, and then the tem- 
poral power of the prelates was equal to that of the 
sovereign. Alexis, a boy of seventeen, was unfortunate 
in having as collaborator the sturdy Nikon. After his 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

absence in the war against the Poles he found Nikon, 
as Veliki Gossudar, a title reserved for the Tsars, ab- 
solutely autocratic. The Tsar objected to the use of 
the tide by the Patriarch ; Nikon resigned his office, 
and retired to the Vosskresenki Monastery on the 
Varvarka, expecting Alexis would seek him, but the 
Tsar did not visit him nor did he appoint another 
patriarch. Nikon had already given great offence to 
the clergy for, attracted by some text on one of the 
ecclesiastical vestments that had been received from 
Greece, he recognised a considerable difference between 
the Greek rendering and that current in Slavonic ; pro- 
secuting his investigations further he found many dis- 
crepancies and tried in all things to revert to the older 
practice. His action was construed as the introduc- 
tion of new procedure and consequently vigorously 
opposed and orthodoxy split into two camps ; those 
who agreed with the head of the Church that the ancient 
practice was correct and should be introduced and the 
more conservative who would not depart from that to 
which they had been accustomed, and it is they who are 
known as the " Old Believers," for the alterations pro- 
posed by Nikon ultimately became general. Although 
the Patriarch had resigned he continued to receive the 
clergy and concern himself with the direction of ecclesi- 
astical affairs. In 1654 he angered the people by going 
into private chapels and houses and removing all copies 
of the ikon Nerukotvorenni, " not made with hands," 
because unlike the ikons of Mount Athos. The priest 
visited Moscow, and the people paraded the empty ikon 
cases and the defaced ikons, attributing to this outrage 
the plague from which so many suffered, and the clergy 
then left Moscow in large numbers fearing assault. In 
1659 the Tsar's emissaries informed him that he ought 
no longer to interfere. He thereupon withdrew from 
Moscow. In Advent 1664 he suddenly reappeared with 


The Story of Moscow 

many monks at early matins in the Uspenski Cathedral, 
peremptorily ordered the officiating clergy to perform 
certain offices. The clergy at once apprised the Tsar, 
who in turn ordered his boyards to command Nikon 
to leave the Cathedral. Nikon pleaded that he had 
been instructed by Jonas in a vision to act as he had 
done, but the Tsar only repeated the command ; he 
stated then that he had power to heal the sick, but the 
Tsar was inflexible and Nikon retired. At a council 
in 1666 he was formally deposed, and withdrew to a 
distant monastery where he continued his researches ; 
he was pardoned by the Tsar Theodore in 1681 but 
died whilst on his journey to meet his sovereign. 

Joachim, the succeeding Patriarch, opposed Nikon's 
innovations, and held tenaciously to the customary 
practice and attempted to stifle schism by persecuting 
relentlessly. He forbade Catholics to worship, banished 
Jesuits, barely tolerated Calvinists and Lutherans, and 
burned to death Kullman the German mystic for pro- 
claiming false doctrines. When he died in 1690 he 
besought Peter to drive all heretics and unbelievers 
from Russia it is to him that Peter erected the chapel 
on the Srietenka. As in 1682 and earlier, the "old 
believers " had been cruelly tortured for not conforming 
to the innovations of Nikon, more especially the unfor- 
tunate and obstinate Boyarina Morozov and her sister 
Princess Urusov, so with the change of the head of the 
Church the people were condemned for such acts as 
they had previously been commended for performing, 
and now knew not whom to believe. With the 
accession of Peter to sole power, and the enforcement 
by him of practices foreign to former habit, the people 
associated all his innovations with those purely clerical 
ones which had recently met with opposition and 
caused persecution and suffering. It was impossible to 
stamp out opposition, exile but spread the discontent. 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

When Peter quarrelled with the Church, the clergy 
were unable to cope with the popular reaction against 
the innovations of Nikon and his disciples. Peter was 
at last induced to persecute the noncontents, but these, 
disgusted with his secular innovations, fled into distant 
parts of the country and even abroad, where for long 
they were politically an element of grave danger to 
the state, but, the rule of Nikon was established and 
the old believers regarded as Raskolniki, or dissenters. 

These, under persecution, and lacking adequate direc- 
tion again split into two sections ; one, the popovtsi, or 
those who acknowledge the priesthood and depend for 
their clergy upon schismatics from among the orthodox, 
who after ordination, find their practice preferable. 

They are quite insignificant in comparison with the 
Bezpopovtsi, or those who do not have ordained 
priests, but are more powerful because united, whereas 
the bezpopovtsi number as many different brotherhoods 
as there are distinct dissenting sects in England. The 
best known among these are the Dukhobortsi, who deny 
the divinity of the Holy Ghost, strongly oppose civil 
authority, refuse to pray for their sovereign or the head 
of the orthodox church, and consider death by starva- 
tion or fire, so long as it is self-wrought, to be the 
highest duty. Nearly akin to them are the terrible 
Skoptsi or mutilators, and the fanatic Kklysti, or 
Flagellants, and many others. To the orthodox 
church all who are not s/avopravni are alike. The 
civil government has always discriminated between the 
harmless and those whose tenets are opposed to the 
welfare of the individual and to the commonwealth. 

The orthodox regard the discussion as terminated : 
the Tsaritsa Sophia herself was present in the Grano- 
vitaia Palace, at the discussions of the Patriarch with 
the chief of the Ras Kolniks, a fanatic Nikita. There 
were stormy scenes ; at the close each sect claimed 


to have the right, and for long afterwards there were 
frequent discussions between the supporters of both 
parties, around the porch of the Blagovieshchenski 

Of the churches of the orthodox, the number in 


Moscow is indeed great ; add to these the cathedrals, 
the new Xram, chapels, monasteries and convents, 
and the claim of Moscow to its title of City of Churches 
will not be questioned. It is quite impossible even to 
enumerate those worth seeing. Instead take a typical 
street, say the Nikolskaya in the busiest part of the 

Moscow of the Ecclesiastics 

commercial Kitai-Gorod. It contains the Monastery 
of the Images, Za-ikono-spassky Monastyr once, 
1679, an academy ; Church of the Virgin of Kazan, 
interesting as founded in 1630 by Prince Pojarski ; the 
Nikolaevski Monastyr, Greek, founded in 1556, and in 
1 669, with two churches ; opposite it the old Monastery 
of the Epiphany, Bogoyavlenni, founded in 1396, with 
a church to Boris and Gleb and several others of lesser 
note a large establishment with an extensive cemetery 
but the buildings of course modern. The Synodalia 
Typografiia ; the printing house of the Synod, founded 
in 1645, the facade always painted a light blue, with 
the lion and unicorn, and other Byzantine decora- 
tions, in white. Then near the Vladimirski Vorot, 
the church to the Virgin, dating from the time of the 
boy-Tsars, Ivan and Peter, and opposite the second 
largest monastery, and most often used church in the 
Kitai gorod, that of the Trinity. In all eleven churches 
or chapels within less than 200 yards and that is 
characteristic of Moscow. Among other tserkvi well 
worth seeing are: 

Kitai-Gorod. In the Varvarka : St Barb, St George the Martyr, 
St Maxim the Confessor, and the Monastery of the Resurrec- 
tion. In the Ilyinka: St Nicholas of the Great Cross, St 
Elias. Also the Holy Trinity in the Cherkassky, St Anne in 
the Zariadi, and of the Virgin of Georgia, but St Ipatius is in 
the Ipatievski, and St Nicholas near the Moskvretski Bridge. 

Bielo-GoroJ. The Srietenka, built by John Taylor; All 
Saints, the Transfiguration, and the Manifestation. 

20 5 

Moscow of the Citizens 

" Fair Moscow crowned : now towering high 
And, seated on her throne of hills, 
A glorious pile from days gone by." 


DETER "THE GREAT" who is credited with 
having created the history of Russia did little for 
Moscow, a town he, after his travels abroad, always 
despised and constantly distrusted. He evicted the last 
private owners from the Kremlin, and spoiled its palaces 
and treasures, but took no measures to enhance its beauty 
or increase its wealth. It is customary to date progress 
and civilisation from his reign ; an anonymous Russian 
poet has even written : 

(< Russia and Russia's strength lay hid in dreary night ; 
God said ' Let Peter be ' straightway they burst to light," 

but, so far as Moscow is concerned, his coming would 
be more truthfully regarded as of the nature of an 
eclipse than as the harbinger of light. Probably his 
reputation is due to the prominence of his person in 
western Europe where it is .customary to mistake 
renown for greatness rather than his achievements. 

Peter forsook Moscow, left her to the Church, which 
he served badly and to her citizens, whom he treated 
even worse. Benevolence was foreign to his character ; 
he could not mould Moscow to his ideal if a passing 
whim can be so termed but before he realised his 

Moscow of the Citizens 

impotence in this, he became brutal and fierce. He 
quarrelled with the Church, cruelly ill used his wife 
whom he forsook eventually, shamefully treated his 
blood-relations even torturing his half-sisters him- 
self, and was to his subjects such a father as he 
proved to his own unfortunate son Alexis, who was 
done to death at his hands ; in all these things behaving 
so savagely that even the strongest were awed into 
hypocrisy. The citizens of Moscow considered them- 
selves the children of the Father of the people the 
Tsar who lived in the Kremlin who cared for 
them and never ceased to be anxious for their welfare. 
He alone was responsible for their direction, with 
him was the Church, they knew not how to act in- 
dependently. The streltsi, the fighting men, the 
armed citizens, were first of the Moscow townsmen to 
act of their own initiative, but they were disciplined 
men who trusted their leaders even when betrayed. 

Peter exterminated the streltsi, the men who first of 
all his subjects had supported his claims and protected 
his rights ; it is in connection with the streltsi that 
Peter is most enduringly associated with Moscow. 
The scenes of that long struggle were, for the most 
part, enacted outside the Kremlin ; in the Kitai-Gorod 
of the merchants, in the Bielo-Gorod of the free- 
men, in the sloboda of the foreign settlers, and the 
Preobrajenski quarter where Peter was reared. It is 
this Moscow that has suffered most from the invader 
and from fire ; its memorials of antiquity are few, 
those appertaining to Peter the Great and his time 
may be counted on the fingers of one mutilated hand. 
The most conspicuous marks are those of the Church. 
Continuing by that route indicated in the last chapter, 
on issuing by the Valdimirski Gate from the Kitai- 
Gorod, the road north is the Big Lubianka, running 
along the crest of the hill towards the old village of 


The Story of Moscow 

Kuchko, long since incorporated with the town ; on 
the right hand is the palace of that Count Rostopchin 
who ordered the destruction of Moscow in 1812; on 
the left at the corner of the Kuznetski Most is the 


old church, set apart from time immemorial for the 
benediction of fruit. As an old writer states, "the 
Mahommedans would as soon eat pork as a Russian 
unconsecrated apples." Further on, also on the 
left is the old monastery of the Srietenka (Meeting), 
founded by Vasili Dmitrivich in gratitude of the 
deliverance of Moscow threatened by the Tartars 
under Tamerlane in 1397; rebuilt by Theodore IL 

Moscow of the Citizens 

and containing a chapel to the Patriarch Joachim, 
constructed by Peter I. in 1706. It has two other 
old churches, one dedicated to St Nicholas, and the 
other to the Egyptian Virgin Mary, neither of particular 
interest. This is a part of Moscow longest inhabited 
by the peasant class, and continuing on past the 
boulevard, which marks the old wall of the Bielo- 
Gorod, the Srietenka traverses the Zemliana Gorod, 
or earthen town, until the Sadovia is reached, where 
was once the by no means formidable rampart of the 
outer wall ; beyond this the Miaschanska continues the 
road to the Kammer College earth rampart at the 
Krestovski-Zastava. Beyond that is the highway 
to Ostankina, the Marina Roshcha, and the village of 
Mordva. The eighteenth church passed after leaving 
the Grand Square is dedicated to the Trinity and is 
remarkable for a number of small shops within its walls, 
the windows but a couple of feet high and the ceiling 
so near the pavement that buyers have to stoop or 
kneel to bargain. An old order forbids that shops be 
within a church, and a more recent one, any without 
it. These being neither within nor without continue 
unmolested. In this district the Streltsi were living 
at the close of the seventeenth century, and a little 
further on is the Sukharev Bashnia, Peter's memorial 
to the fidelity of a regiment of the force he exterminated. 
It is a curious pile : an octagonal tower rises 200 
feet above the roadway over high archways and a 
large two-storeyed gallery above them. The beholder 
who is told that this is like a ship will possess the 
credulity of Polonius if he assent ; but actually Peter 
modelled it as a ship to serve for the elementary 
instructions of his future sailors. As all know, Peter 
derived his idea of ships from the Dutch, but even that 
explains little and leaves much to the imagination. 
As remote is the connection of Sukharev with ships 
o 209 

The Story of Moscow 

and the sea, so if not exactly a suitable monument 
for an officer of Moscow's soldiery it was what Peter 
thought would serve his purpose better than any other 
design. Its closest connection with ships is at present ; 
as a water tower it is not wholly useless still. Its archi- 
tecture is not remarkable, a mixture of Lombard with 
Gothic that might have resulted from copying the 
Vosskresenski Gate and substituting a tall straight tower 
for the ornate Gothic spires then the fashion in Moscow. 
Considered a ship the tower is the mast, the rooms 
below are supposed to resemble the poop-deck and 
quarter-galleries of an old man-of-war. The entrance 
is by a flight of steps from the Srietenka ; in the large 
room a number of Moscow youths were instructed in 
arithmetic by a Scotch schoolmaster named Farquharson, 
and two Christ Church scholars, Gwynne and Graves, 
whom Peter held practically as prisoners there. Some- 
times these pupils were taken to St Petersburgh to 
drive piles for foundations of the new town, at others 
they were exercised in elocution and deportment that 
they might the better represent comedies for the 
diversion of the Court. 

The teachers of the school knew nothing of Russian 
and the scholars only their native tongue such was 
Peter's way. Unhappy the scholars 

3ane paayMt uecb coGpait H ^nrn, 
pvcKiu, HC Hi>M4nin>.* 

It is said a lodge of Freemasons used once to meet 
in a room of the tower, and there not only were 
"black arts" practised but Peter convened secret 
meetings of the State Council, a sort of Star Chamber. 
The society of "Neptune" really consisted of Lefort 

* " Stolid, forlorn, mum and glum, 

Being Russian born not deaf and dumb." 

2 IO 

Moscow of the Citizens 

the Swiss General, Archbishop Theofan, Admiral 
Apraxin, Farquharson, Bruce, and Princes Cherkassky, 
Galitzin, Menshikov, and Sheremetiev. Those in fact 
who were for westernising Russia. 

The story of the Streltsi and the part they played in the 
history of Moscow is worth telling. They originated with 
the oprichniks of Ivan the Terrible : transformed into a sort of 
hereditary militia, they fought for Moscow when called upon, 
and in return were allowed to reside tax free, to trade, to 
keep shops, mills and ply various handicrafts. Their com- 
mandants tried to make serfs of them. When some complained 
that the colonel of one regiment was keeping back half the 
pay, Yazikov, the chief of the commanders, ordered these 
petitioners to be flogged so as to teach them not to complain 
of those in authority over them. Three days before Theodore 
II. died, they accused Griboiedov of extortion, cruelty and 
withholding pay and forcing them to work for him housebuild- 
ing, even during Easter week. This complaint reached Dol- 
goruki : he ordered the messenger to be flogged, but as the 
man was led away he called to his fellows, "Brothers, I was 
but obeying your orders," thereupon they attacked the guard 
and released him. Complaints became general : it was practi- 
cally a revolt of the armed citizens the government had to 
fear. For the moment it yielded. Griboiedov was ordered 
to Siberia, but after only a day's imprisonment reinstated. 
The Streltsi became alarmed. On the death of Theodore they, 
among themselves, took the oath of fealty to Peter. Sophia 
and her advisers intrigued and split the Streltsi. One regiment 
under Sukharev remained faithful to the secret oath, to Peter, the 
Naryshkins and Matvievs : the others demanded and received 
their colonels whom they flogged Griboiedov with the knout, 
the others with rods their property was confiscated, and the 
claims of the Streltsi paid. The Sukharev regiment took 
Peter and his mother to the Troitsa Monastery for safety, and it 
is in commemoration of this action that the Tower was built. 

The real cause of the later conflict arose from a 
deeper trouble, the struggle for the throne between 
the children of Alexis by his first wife, and Peter the 
eldest of those by his second. Ivan was weak, but 
his sister Sophia, with her lover Galitzin and a court 
following opposed to the innovations to be expected of 

21 I 

The Story of Moscow 

Naryshkins' friends, supported him most loyally. The 
Streltsi insisted that Peter should reign conjointly with 
Ivan and carried their point, but Sophia, as regent, 
was entrusted with certain powers. Both princes were 
crowned in 1682, but, owing to intrigues, the court 
was divided into two factions the supporters of 
Ivan and Sophia, of Peter and the Matvievs. The 
Khovanskis were accused of compassing the death 
of Theodore, and beheaded. Doubts as to Peter's 
parentage were expressed ; the trouble made previous 
to the marriage of Natalia was remembered ; others 
declared that Peter was a changeling, really the son 
of Dr Van Gaden. Peter himself, according to the 
picture of his patron saint painted on a board his exact 
size on the day of birth, was then some twenty inches 
long by five and a half broad. Moreover, there was a 
doggerel song of the period : 

" What luck, oh, what joy ! To the Tsar has been given 
A heir, aye, a boy ! sent us from heaven ! 
Tis wondrous ! 'tis rich ! With laughter and mirth, 
Great Peter Alexevich, first lord of the earth ! " 

Peter is said once to have met his reputed father, 
a rough haunter of taverns in the foreign suburb. 
Throwing him roughly to the ground Peter determined 
to learn whether or not he was his father. " Batuch 
ka ! How should I know I was not the only one," 
the fellow is reported to have answered ; but it was 
only a stale and salacious witticism of the sort Peter 
loved certainly not evidence. The struggle was further 
complicated by camps of orthodox and dissenters. It 
was fought to the bitter end by Sophia on behalf of 
her mother's children, against Peter who was only her 
father's son ; on behalf of herself too, for she had a 
lover, and no liking for the seclusion of the cloisters 
to which the daughters of the orthodox Tsars were 

Moscow of the Citizens 

relegated because they were of too high birth to wed 
with their father's subjects, and their faith which they 
were not allowed to relinquish an effectual barrier to 
matrimony with a foreign prince. At first the revolt 
of the Streltsi had little political significance beyond the 
fact that it was the forcible demand of a part of the 
citizens for common justice. 

For seven years Sophia directed the affairs of state 
with more or less success ; Ivan was simply her tool, 
with Peter she had greater trouble, and in 1689, 
after a quarrel with her, he withdrew from Moscow 
and went to Troitsa. A large party followed him. 
Sophia feared revolt and appealed to the people in 
an eloquent address of three hours' duration. 

" Wicked people have sown the seeds of discord ; have made 
my brother Peter believe his life is in danger. Do not credit 
such rumours. Do not allow these to lead astray those faithful 
to the throne : they will torture such until they can no longer 
endure, and nine persons will denounce nine hundred. You 
know how I have directed the affairs of this state for seven 
years ; have made a glorious peace with Poland, and worsted 
in battle the Turks and infidels ; how I have always thought 
of your needs and striven for your welfare. As I have already 
done so shall I continue." 

Sophia thought she had won over the crowd ; instead 
this speech lost her the support of influential leaders. 
When Galitzin left Moscow there was a general rush 
of the people to Peter ; then her friends were seized 
by his order and she tried to escape to Poland, but 
was captured and imprisoned in the Novo Devichi 
Convent where she was forced to take the veil as 
Susannah, and lived in strict confinement until 1704. 
Ivan was thrust aside ; Peter usurped the throne, his 
weakly half-brother surviving until 1 696. Then Peter 
married Eudoxia Lapukhin, daughter of a boyard. 
Trouble next arose when Peter, against the advice 
of nobles and clergy, went abroad and worked like 


The Story of Moscow 

a slave under foreign rulers ; it was considered sacrilege 
of God's anointed so to do, and of its impolicy there 
were soon signs, and Peter hurriedly returned to stamp 
out discontent. He had found a new love, one Anna 
Mons, a German in Moscow, and would have married 
her but she slighted him and took one of her own 
countrymen ; his wife he refused to see, accusing her 
of " certain thwartings and suspicions." He wished 
also for proof of Sophia's connection with the discontent 
amongst the Streltsi and people ; in this, notwithstand- 
ing all his energy and cruelty, he was unsuccessful. 

" Peter on his return reopened the inquiry, and fourteen 
torture chambers were conducted under his surveillance in the 
Preobrajenski suburb. The fires were never allowed to burn 
down, nor the gridirons on which his victims were charred to 
become cool either by night or day. A most compromising 
letter from Sophia to the Streltsi is generally considered to be 
a forged document, made up of stray, incoherent scraps of 
information wrung from maddened creatures in the torture 
chamber. Whereas fifteen blows with the knout were equal to 
a capital sentence, one of the Streltsi was put to the torture 
seven times and received in all ninety-nine blows, yet confessed 
nothing. Korpatkov, unable to bear his tortures, killed him- 
self. Others of the Streltsi having been put to the strappado, 
flogged, and burnt without getting any accusations ; the wives, 
sisters and female relatives of the Streltsi were tortured ; so 
were the ladies and sewing women in attendance on Sophia. 
Still no evidence was forthcoming. Then Sophia herself was 
put to the torture, Peter doing the hangman's work. She 
never wavered in denying all connection with the movement. 
Her younger sister, Marfa, was then strung up in turn and 
all that could be learned of her was that she had apprised her 
sister Sophia of the return of the Streltsi to Moscow and of 
their desire to see her rule re-established. Peter was unweary- 
ing in (his attendance in the torture chambers, and it is said* 
took a fiendish delight in the agony his own wrought cruelties 
produced on his relatives, but when he failed to obtain evidence 
he determined to punish indiscriminately. The executions of 
the Streltsi, like those of Ivan the Terrible's victims, were in 

* Kostomarov, vol. ii. p. 516. 
2I 4 

Moscow of the Citizens 

wholesale fashion. Five were beheaded just outside the torture 
chamber by the Tsar Peter himself; the courtiers of his body- 
guard he commanded to do the same, thinking doubtless they 
would enjoy the shedding of blood even as he did. Two 
foreigners alone refused to comply with this order. Some 
zoo Streltsi were crucified, impaled or hanged before Sophia's 
windows in the Novo Devichi Convent : but most were exe- 
cuted in the Grand Square under the wall of the Kremlin, 
viz. : 

200 on Sept. 3oth, 1698 

144 , Oct. nth, 




1 2th, 

13 th . 
i 7 th, 
1 9th, 

" On some occasions a tree was used as a block ; the victims 
placed in rows along it, and their heads struck off by men of 
Peter's new guard. Others were hanged; as late as 1727 the 
heads stuck on pike points stood round the Lobnoe Mesto. 
In January 1699 came more enquiries, more tortures, more 
executions, and then the extermination of the Streltsi deter- 
mined upon. There was a break from 1699 to 1704 as Peter 
required the remaining Streltsi to aid in the wars against 
Swedes and others, but after the revolt in Astrakhan, the 
executions were renewed. Stragglers and deserters from the 
corps, those related to them and who associated with them, were 
placed under a ban they might not be employed by anyone ; 
none might give them food, shelter, or assistance. They 
perished miserably. In such manner did Peter exterminate 
the old Muscovite militia." 

Peter's cruelties, like those of Ivan Groznoi, did not 
pass unnoticed by the Church. His treatment of the 
Streltsi called forth a fierce denunciation from the 
Patriarch Adrian, who " beseeched him in the name 
of the Mother of God to desist." " Get thee home ! " 
answered Peter, " I know that I reverence God and 
his most Holy Mother ; more, perhaps, than thou dost 
thyself. It is the duty of my sovereign office, and a 
duty I owe to God, to punish with the utmost severity 
crimes that threaten the general welfare." Unfortun- 


The Story of Moscow 

ately the Church had been deprived of its privilege of 
intercession for the life of one accused, and Peter 
cared nought for the spiritual power of the Church, as 
already stated. He even with his own hand killed 
two priests, but afterwards expressed contrition. The 
Church regarded him almost as anti-christ ; the citizens 
dreaded him and kept out of his way. " The nearer 
the Tsar the greater the danger," a proverb of that 
time was believed in by all. Peter had his proverb 
also, " the knout is no angel but teaches men to speak 
the truth," and even as Ivan did, he went constantly 
in fear of conspiracies, chiefly dreading his own relations. 
Eudoxia, now the nun Helena in a convent at Suzdal, 
was believed to have corresponded with Dositheus 
an Archimandrite who had predicted, or prayed for, 
Peter's death. Glebov was the intermediary in the 
matter ; he was impaled ; the prelate was broken on 
the wheel ; a brother of the ex-tsaritsa was tortured 
and beheaded ; thirty others were executed or exiled, 
and Eudoxia herself flogged and confined in an isolated 
convent at New Ladoga. Peter, when there were no 
more conspirators, or accused, offered a bribe of six 
roubles to all who made secret accusations, and 
threatened with severe penalties any who held back 
information. The better to protect his informers from 
reprisals by the people, they went through the streets 
with their faces veiled, in order to search for those 
whose names they did not know, but whom they had 
overheard in indiscreet speech. The people hid away 
when " the tongue," as the masked informer was called, 
was abroad in the streets, and for days the city would 
appear to be quite deserted. 

" Peter was hairless and decreed that those who could grow 
beards should not be allowed to wear them. Ivan Naumov 
was flogged because he would not shave; 100 roubles was 
the ordinary fine for wearing a full beard, and many paid the 


Moscow of the Citizens 

tax repeatedly rather than submit to Peter's order. These 
had also to wear a badge with the legend ' a beard is a useless 
inconvenience,' and pay a fine whenever passing the Redeemer 
Gate. There is a touch of irony in the fact that Peter died of 
a chill which, may be, the full beard of a Moscow Oteti would 
have prevented. Although Peter was epileptic, he had no 
mercy for those who suffered similarly. A woman, who in 
addition to this infirmity was also blind, was put to the torture 
for disturbing a congregation. A tipsy man had thirty lashes 
with the knout for committing the like offence. A woman 
who found strange chalk marks on a barrel of beer in her 
cellar, knew not what they meant, nor did any one else ; but 
she was put to the torture, and died under it because unable 
to decipher them. Those whom Peter wished specially to 
honour he made hangmen. An old boyard who liked not 
salad, as ' sour things did not agree with him,' was made to 
empty a large bottle of vinegar by Peter ; and a Jewess in his 
company who declined to drink to the extent Peter wished, 
was there and then beaten by him and made to drink much 

It was an unequal struggle : a powerful autocrat 
attempting to force a proud, stubborn people from the 
habits they had been taught to revere, from practices 
that had made their city great and beautiful. The more 
successful Peter became the greater was the opposition. 
His courtiers wore wigs at court, as commanded, but 
even in the throne room removed them immediately 
Peter was out of sight. After ten years Peter knew 
that he could not conquer the Muscovites though he 
might kill them. As late as 1722, when he had ordered 
all ladies above ten years of age to appear at a reception, 
only seventy of the hundreds qualified did as commanded. 
At St Petersburg it was different. There, no feeling 
of shame, no loss of dignity followed the, to Moscow 
citizens, most ridiculous behaviour of westerns. Peter's 
son Alexis, the Tsarevich, preferred Moscow and 
Muscovite customs : in him Moscow trusted, and for 
this Peter hated him. His friends wished him to 
enter a monastery until his father's death and then " as 


The Story of Moscow 


they cannot nail the cowl to one's head," throw it off 
and assume the crown. He did not, and his boast to 
forsake St Petersburg and reinstate Moscow enraged 

Peter who, from that time, 
never ceased to search for 
conspiracies, prompted by, 
or on behalf of Alexis, 
and persecuted his son un- 
mercifully. As all knew 
the young man was 
' - lured to St Petersburg 
by his mistress, who 
was lavishly rewarded 
for her perfidy by Peter, 
and that there he was re- 
peatedly put to the torture, 
more than once with 
Peter himself as exe- 
cutioner, and that he 
died mysteriously one day 
after being " put to the 
question," i.e. tortured, 
earlier in the day by a 
party of whom his father 
was one. 

The Matviev's lived in 
that part of the city just 
outside the Kitai-gorod, 
where Alexis had settled 
a number of little Russians from the newly-acquired 
territory, the Ukraine. The Marosseika preserves 
the name of this settlement, and passing up it from the 
Lubianski Ploshchad, leaving All Saints' church on the 
right, Armianski, a street on the left, will soon be 
reached. There, a couple of hundred yards along, on 
the left is the old parish church of St Nicholas, built by 


Moscow of the Citizens 

Mikhail Theodorovich, contiguous to the house of the 
Matviev's and the Tsarista Natalia, where is now the 
tomb of the old voievode a mean mausoleum, in the 
classic style. The church shows but few traces of 
western influence : it is of two storeys like most of the 
churches of the seventeenth century and is surrounded 
with a gallery, formerly open, but now glazed between 
the pillars. Near by is the Lazarev Institute, for the 
study of eastern languages, and peeping over the trees 
will be seen the green domes and pink belfry of the 
Monastery of St John Chrysostom, with five churches 
of which the oldest was founded by Ivan Vasilievich 
in 1 479 ; the entrance is from the Zlato-ustinski pereulok. 
Opposite the Armianski is the Kosmo-Damianski 
pereulok, with the Lutheran Church founded in 1582 
by the Englishman Horsey for the foreign colony. 

Continuing along the Marosseika, past the Church of 
the Assumption (p. 89), an interesting church will be 
found on the right, that of the Pokrovka (Protection), 
and further along the same street, where it changes its 
name to the Basmannia, the church of Vasili Ivanovich 
built in 1517 and reconstructed in 1751, to which 
latter date its architecture belongs. Turning into the 
Sadovia on the left, in the Furmanni pereulok, the 
second on the left, will be found the oldest large house 
in Moscow, the residence of Prince Usupov, quite 
in the style of the early seventeenth century. The 
entrance is from the Charitonievski Boulevard, the next 
turning on the left. The whole of this district suffered 
much from the fires of past centuries and only such 
buildings as these isolated churches and houses in their 
own courtyards escaped the general conflagration. A 
little further along the Sadovia is the " Krasnce Vorot " 
or Red Gate to mark the old tower on the outer wall. 
It was built as a triumphal arch for the Empress 
Elizabeth on her coronation, when tables spread with 


The Story of Moscow 

viands for the people reached from there to the Kremlin 
wall. The French made it a butt for musketry practice, 
using sacred ikons for a bull's eye. 

Architecture of a different type is to be found in 
that residential quarter of the city between the Kremlin 
and the Prechistenka Boulevard. Behind the Riding 
School is the Mokhovaia, a street to which front both 
Universities and the Dom Pachkov, an old mansion in 
which is stored the Rumiantsev art collection and 
museum of antiquities. The entrance is in the Vogan- 
kovski pereulok, near the Znamenka.* It contains : 

(a) Foreign ethnological museum. 

() TheDashkov ethnographical collection of Slavic antiquities; 
life size figures of the races inhabiting Russia ; in another hall 
of Slavic races inhabiting Austrian and other adjacent lands. 

(c} Mineralogical collection. 

(<^ Zoological collection ; includes mammoth and Musco- 
vite and Siberian fossils. 

(<r) Slav and Christian antiquities, consisting mostly of early 
specimens of eastern iconography from Mount Athos, and 
archaeological fragments. They are in four rooms on the upper 
storey, and one ikon of Mosaic is particularly interesting, as 
are also many of the specimens of Byzantine and Muscovite 
enamel and niello, including an eleventh century Gold Cross. 

(f) Picture Galleries. Copies of Flemish, Spanish, Italian 
and other schools, and the Pryanichnikov collection of Russian 
artists, of which the best are: i-io by Ivanov; 42, 43, 
Chiernakov ; 65, by Repin ; 157, 158, Aviazovski, and 201-103, 

(g) Manuscripts and early printed Slav books, some very 
beautifully illustrated. This section is closed during July and 

(h) Library of 200,000 standard works, and old prints and 

The Russian school is seen to better advantage on 
the south side of the Moskva river, in the Tretiakov 
Galleries ( Lavrushenski pereulok ; open daily, I o to 

* Open daily, 1 1 till 3 ; free on Sundays ; 20 kopeeks 
entrance on other days. 


Moscow of the Citizens 

4, except Mondays ; admission free, catalogue in 
French, 20 kopeeks), a collection made by the 
brothers Paul and Sergius Tretiakov, and now the 
property of the town. Most of the pictures are modern 
by native artists ; views of Moscow and of the historical 
and interesting buildings in the town are by no means 
numerous. Apparently Russian artists have not yet 
discovered that the Kremlin, as seen from across the 
river, is as good a subject as is the Piazza San Marco 
at Venice, or any other hackneyed city scene in Europe. 

Most noteworthy among the paintings illustrating the 
history of Moscow are: The murder of Alexis by Ivan the 
Terrible, by J. E. Repin (No. 782); a portrait of the same 
Tsar, by V. N. Vasnetsov (No. 966) ; The Execution of the 
Streltsi, by B. J. Surikov (No. 737); St Nikita, the impostor, 
before the Tsarina Sophia, by B. G. Peroff (No. 733), and the 
same Tsarina in the Novo devichi Convent during the execu- 
tion of the Streltsi, by J. E Repin (No. 761). Some of the 
ancient customs and costumes of Moscow are represented in No. 
808, A Boyard Wedding, by C. B. Lebedev, and No. 1367, The 
Handsel of Innocence, by Polenov an excellent specimen of 
this painter's best work, who does not show to advantage in 
his views of the Terem (Nos. 1356-1366) and church interiors 
(Nos. 1349-1355). Instructive also are the sketches Nos. 304- 
307, made by V. G. Schwartz to illustrate Count A. Tolstoi's 
novel "Prince Serebrenni," and 308-311, those made to Ler- 
montov's " Bread Seller." 

Notable pictures taken from scenes in Russian history are : 
The Battle of Igor SviatoslaPs son against the Polovsti (No. 
950), by V. M. Vasnetsov ; The " Black Council," held during 
the rebellion of monks at the Solovetski Monastery in 1666, 
by S. D. Miloradovich (No. 742) ; Peter the Great questioning 
his son Alexis, by N. N. Gay (No. 636 ; The Emancipation 
of the Serfs in 1861, by G. G. Myassoiedov (No. 495), and 
No 252, by C. D. Flavitski, the imprisonment of Princess 
Tarakanov in the fortress of Sts. Peter and Paul, during a 
rise of the Neva a sensational incident the truth of which 
was questioned and disproved, when this picture was exhibited 
at Paris in 1867. The incident represented in No. 394 by 
N. B. Nevref, the enforced taking of the veil by the Princess 
Usupov, was of such common occurrence in mediaeval Russia, 
that no question as to its possibility need be raised. Some of 


The Story of Moscow 

the best of the war pictures of Vereshchagin are in this collec- 
tion, and other painters have contributed works illustrating the 
French invasion, and more recent events, in a style quite as 
original and striking as that of the Russian artist best known 
in western Europe. In all the subject appears to be far more 
suggestive and interesting than the craftsmanship. This is 
often weak, or worse, an unsatisfactory imitation of the most 
impressive methods of the modern French school. 

Religious pictures are numerous and good : N N. Gay is 
represented in forty-six works which include " The Morning 
of the Resurrection " (641), " The Remorse of Judas " (642), 
"The Judgment" (643), "Golgotha" (645), "What is 
Truth ? " (640), and " Christ in Gethsemane " (634). Several 
of his studies of" Christ on the Cross " may be compared with 
the work of T. A. Bronnikov, "Campus Scleratus " (461). 
The conventional style of " Ikon " painting is evident in Nos. 
717-730 by M. B. Nesterov, more particularly in the pictures 
illustrating the life of St Sergius. No. 739, by B. J. Surikov, 
represents the Boyarina Morosov being removed from among 
the dissenting sect she did so much to establish. 

The lighter, merrier, and more general life of the Russian 
people is shown in a far greater number of pictures. Pryan- 
ichnikov has humour as well as style (416-432), in 542, 
Maximov shows the arrival of the " wizard " at a village 
wedding; 682 is an every day village scene representing the 
homage paid to the ikon on its visits; Yarochenko (701) 
shows the transport van with its exiles committed for life 
and the free birds of the air mocking them. Repin depicts 
truthfully the happy life of the peasants; 766, a dance, 781, 
" The Unexpected Return," 797, St Cene. In the same vein 
are also 857, Lebedev " Farings " ; 863, Korovin, The Common 
Council ; 775, 776, Answer of the Zaporogians to Mahomet's 
ultimatum; 1221-1224, the Second-hand market at Moscow, 
and 1256, An Evening's Amusement, are by V. G. Makovski ; 
The Emigrants, No. 1520, by S. B. Ivanof, is depressing, but 
in 930 Madam A. L. Rievski shows in " A Moment of 
Gaiety " the true character of the peasant. 

In the streets Znamenka and Vozdvigenka are some 
characteristic Russian mansions of the eighteenth century, 
for it was then that this quarter, which had formerly 
been inhabited by palace servants and craftsmen, began 
to take a more aristocratic character. That of Prince 
Sheremetiev is the most bizarre ; there also is the old 


Moscow of the Citizens 

town hall and the Foreign Archives. In various parts 
of the town, even on the south side in the Kaloujskaya, 
will be found modern mansions, that is, erected or re- 
built since the great fire, in the style of the Moscow of 
the golden age. One of the best is the Dom Chukina 
near the Tverskaya Triumfalnia a monument no visitor 


can escape seeing. But there is no long street without 
one or more buildings which attract the attention of the 
stranger by some idiosyncracy of form or colour. No 
matter in which direction one may go in the bustling 
Kitai-Gorod, the quiet and aristocratic Ostogenka, or 
the bourgeois Zamoskvoretski soon will be seen some 
interesting fane reaching above the buildings that flank 
the street, and a portal distinguished by its cross and 
ikon indicate the entrance to the sacred enclosure of 


The Story of Moscow 

some monastery, where, amidst leafy foliage and bright 
verdure, is quiet and seclusion like that of the oasis of 
the Temple amidst the dreary turmoil of London's 
vastness. Take that very ordinary street, the Nikits- 
kaya for example ; it is wholly common place, wedged 
in between districts devoted to ordinary commerce, 
and the chilling respectability of moderate affluence, 
and leads nowhere in particular. Yet even its name is 
interesting ; did it obtain it from the worthy founder 
of the Romanof dynasty ? or from the religious fanatic 
who argued points of ritual with Sophia and the 
Patriarch ? or from St Nikita, the saint who shut up 
Satan in a jar and released him only on stipulated and 
agreed conditions ? 

It starts from the Alexander Gardens, the old 
western bank of the stream Neglinnaia that once 
strengthened the defences of the Kremlin ; passes the 
entrance to the riding school, one of the great things 
Moscow has produced since the fire of 1812. The 
length of this building is 360 feet, breadth 168, 
and its wooden roof, unsupported by perpendicular 
stanchions, was considered a wonder of the world, 
when Alexander first manoeuvered 2000 infantry, and 
i ooo cavalry beneath it. Then come the Universities, 
the old and the new, one on each hand ; beyond, on 
the left, is the Nikitsky Monastery, enclosing four 
churches, one dating from the founding of the monastery 
in 1682, at the end of the "golden age." On the 
opposite side is the Academy of Science, on this the 
Conservatorium, facing it a quaint old church of 
primitive architecture and diminutive size ; above its 
lowly belfry rears the square brick-built tower of an 
English Church. The house of a boyard here, of a 
prince there, bear names of note in Moscow's history, 
as Gagarin, Galitzin, Chernichev, designate the owners 
of the houses on either side, and of the side streets 

Moscow of the Citizens 

to right and left. The further from the Kremlin, the 
centre, the more frequent and greater the inducement 
to turn aside to inspect more closely the glittering and 
gaudy domes of churches, old and new, which are 
thickly sprinkled over the whole district. Nor can 
the stranger easily do amiss whichever way he turns. 
If towards the left, a curious lofty belfry of open 
masonry will repay careful scrutiny, and reveal close 
by other domed and pinnacled temples, lost amidst this 
multitude of white walls and luxuriant verdure. If to 
the right, two churches in close proximity, of unique 
design and, probably, oppressive colouring, will en- 
courage to further explorations in the same direction. 

The oldest churches in the neighbourhood of the 
Arbat are, Boris and Gleb, 1527; Tikhon, the wonder- 
worker, 1689 ; but the Church of the Transfiguration 
is one of the most beautiful. In the Povarskaya, is 
that of St Simon Stylite, 1676, and near, another in- 
teresting church Rojdestvenka. 

Probably Moscow does not charm so strongly by 
reason of any particular building or style as by the 
great diversity of its houses and churches, both in 
design and colouring. More especially in those 
quarters where the wooden log-houses still linger in 
their gardens, and where the frame-houses are all made 
gay with white, cream, blue-gray, yellow and pink 
body colour, and the roofs of dark green or still 
darker crimson ; there Moscow seems to belong to 
another world. It is, alas, disappearing fast, and the 
spacious courtyards, with their trees and the gardens 
gay with giant lilacs and golden-chain, are being 
built on, and houses that stand shoulder to shoulder 
in plain and hideous uniformity level up the largest 
village to the standard of a modern town made in 

There is another aspect of Moscow which the 
P 225 

The Story of Moscow 

summer visitor can never know. That comes when 
the thermometer falls from its summer average of 
64*9 F. to its winter average of 14 F. This 
difference of 50 explains much that appears wanton 
in the architecture of buildings great and small ; 
accounts for the galleries round the outside of the 
churches, for the extensive vestibules ; for thick walls, 
still thicker roofs, and great spouts ; for the plain 
surfaces and lack of projecting decorations, gargoyles 
and angular mouldings ; for the distempered walls, 
which alone successfully stand the biting frosts of winter 
and the blistering summer sun. 

With the change to winter temperature a great quiet 
comes over the town, wheeled traffic is stopped, sledges 
glide over the frozen roads, and from the windless 
sky the great snowflakes can ever be seen idly and 
slowly floating in their long and leisurely descent to 
earth. A reddened sun appears for a short time each 
day in a leaden sky, and Moscow lives, is more active, 
more itself, than when the light of summer decks its 
walls and pinnacles in holiday garb. But at whatever 
season studied, Moscow will reveal traces of the past ; 
will show that she has long smiled under the summer sun 
of good fortune and been wrinkled by the winter of 
adversity ; scorched, too, by the volcanic fire of her 
own excesses, but now staid, hoary, strenuous, and of 
surprising vitality in all 9mo MamyWKO, MOCK6CI. 


Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

" The customs are so quainte 
As if I would describe the whole 
I feare my penne would fainte." 


CTRANGE and unaccountable to the men of the 
Elizabethan age were the manners and customs 
of the Muscovites ; at this day, some of the things 
these early visitors minutely described seem scarcely 

In many ways the life of the old boyards was not 
unlike that of their Tsar. They fought and worshipped 
and maintained state ; bought, sold and sought wealth 
even as he did. There remain at least two old houses 
of boyards in Moscow. One, the Potieshni Dvorets in 
the Kremlin, formerly the dwelling of the Miloslavskis, 
is at the present time chiefly useful as indicating the 
architecture of a Russian house in mediasval times ; 
and that only so far as the exterior is concerned, for 
the internal arrangements have been so many times 
altered as to bear now but little resemblance to a 
typical dwelling of the seventeenth century. The 
other house, the Palata Romanovykh, or Dom Romanof, 
was at one time the dwelling of the Romanof family 
and has been restored to as nearly as possible resemble 
the state in which it was when the Tsar Michael was 
elected to the throne in 1613. It is situated in the 


'The Story of Moscow 

Varvarka, contiguous to the spot on which the English 
factory stood, and in addition to being a museum of 
minor antiquities serves well to illustrate some of the 
habits of the nobles of Moscow in the sixteenth 
century, for the house belonged to Nikita Romanof, 
grandfather of the Tsar Michael, who himself gave 
the house in which his own father was born to the 
adjoining monastery. Incorporated with those build- 
ings, it shared their vicissitudes ; was injured by fire 
repeatedly, altered, added to, then spoiled and sacked 
by the French. 

It is not a large house : the frontage to the Varvarka 
is scarcely sixty feet and built on sloping ground it 
presents but one storey to this street. The principal 
entrance was from its own courtyard, where the south 
front presents four storeys looking over the Moskva 
(u. page 108). 

The ground floor is of undoubted antiquity ; brick 
built, plastered and painted. On this foundation is 
reared the wooden house in the true Russian style. 
The low clock tower over the entrance has for a 
weather vane, a grifHn, the arms of the Romanofs ; the 
windows are small, ogival, and glazed with mica panes. 

It is impossible that in so small a house there could 
have been any accommodation for the multitude of 
retainers and body servants a boyard had always about 
his house. These lived in separate dwellings around 
the courtyard. The ground floor of Russian houses 
consisted of cellars and storerooms. In these vaults 
were kept : wine, mead, kvas, ice, frozen and salted 
meats and fish. The next storey in this house consists 
of kitchens and domestic offices in a house not built 
upon sloping ground, these would be on the ground 
floor. The first floor, the Bel etage, which, in all 
old Russian buildings houses, churches and shops 
is reached by steps very similar to those from the 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

courtyard to the Varvarka street level in the Dom 

Entering the vestibule from the Varvarka, on the 
right are two small rooms, one for the use of attendants 
the other now fitted as a nursery, but undoubtedly 
originally an ante-chamber. The largest room on this 


floor is called Krestovaia, or Chamber of the Cross. 
It was the state-room. Here the boyard received the 
priests who came at Easter-tide, Christmas, and other 
feasts and on special occasions to offer congratulations 
or perform sacred offices. The roof is vaulted, and, in 
addition to the niches seen in the walls, there are secret 
recesses for the concealment of treasure. In the " sacred 
corner " is an ancient ikon, and on the table before it, 
covered with a rich Persian cloth, are two crosses. 
The stand, or mountain, was the rack on which, upon 
all solemn or festive occasions, the family plate was 


displayed. Among the old treasures preserved here 
are a cocoa-nut shell mounted as a drinking-cup, and 
various other curious drinking-cups, bowls, and vases ; 
an equestrian statuette, silver-gilt, of Charles I., a gift 
from that monarc' i to the Tsar Michael ; two ewers 
presented by Charles II. ; a silver salt cellar, and a 
pmso'tr presented by Martha Ivanovna, wife of the 
Patriarch, to her son the Tsar in 1618. No doubt 
it was in this room that the great banquets given by the 
boyard took place, but ordinarily the boyard would eat 
in his own apartment, his wife in hers. From this 
room a doorway leads to the private room of the 
boyard. This "study " is heated by a stove of coloured 
tiles, variously ornamented and bearing quaint inscrip- 
tions and designs, as a tortoise, " There is no better 
house than one's own " ; doves, " Fidelity unites us." 
The cases contain some of the personal attire and 
weapons of the early boyards and their descendants, 
as : a silk mantle, some swords and daggers, a staff, 
the sceptre of the Tsar Michael, riding-boots, walking- 
sticks, and the like. The high narrow-heeled riding- 
boots are very curious, so too, on the copper inkstands, 
as antique in appearance as those of Chaucer's day, will 
be seen the lion and unicorn, a Byzantine device often 
found in Russia. There is also a low seat used for 
writing, for the Russian placed the paper upon his 
knees, not on a table ; his lines were not straight, and 
much good paper was wasted. 

There is an oratory communicating with this four- 
windowed apartment, also two rooms used as nurseries ; 
one for boys, the other for girls. In these close, small 
rooms the children were reared, for it was the habit of 
the Russians not only to hide their children from all 
strangers, but to keep them from all but their most 
intimate friends and relatives. 

A small doorway leads to a steep narrow staircase 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

communicating with the top storey, the terem or women's 
apartments, consisting of a reception room, a bed- 
chamber and turret ; from these rooms the nursery may 
also be reached by a still narrower staircase. The 
walls of the reception room are covered with stamped 
leather, the woodwork is carved in high relief, the 
stiff benches round the wall have stuffed seats and are 
covered with brocade. There are a number of old 
coffers and close wardrobes, also some curious clothing 
is displayed in cases. 

The four-post bedstead cannot be considered a 
native institution. It is peculiarly Scandinavian. The 
English adopted it from the Danes ; the English re- 
introduced it into Russia, rinding that the Russians 
themselves slept either on the stove, or on an eastern 
divan. More than once the early English ambassadors 
to Russia have complained that bedsteads were lacking, 
and it was long before their use became general. 

The boyards kept their women folk hidden away in 
the terem in almost eastern seclusion. Jenkinson states 
that " the women be very obedient to their husbands, 
and are kept straitly from going abroad but at some 
seasons." Other travellers write that the women are 
hardly used by their husbands, who beat them unmerci- 
fully ; " and the women, though young and strong, 
never resent even if the husband be old and weak." 
Herberstein relates that a foreigner in Moscow married 
to a Russian woman was upbraided by his wife because 
he never beat her as Russian husbands did their wives, 
and that he then beat her to please her ; but as sub- 
sequently he cut off her legs, and finally her head also, 
the story is worth nothing as evidence of a custom. 

Sylvester in his " Domostroi " says a wife ought 
never to take the title of Lady, but always to look on 
her husband as Lord. She was to concern herself 
only with household affairs, and might be treated like a 


The Story of Moscow 

slave ; only the husband is enjoined " not to use a too 
thick stick, or a staffe tipped with iron, nor to humiliate 
unduly by flogging before men." 

Out of doors she was carried in a shuttered litter, 
and she wore the fata or veil ; a special part of the 
church was assigned women, but the wives and 
daughters of the boyards usually worshipped in their 
own private chapels, and went to the Cathedrals but 
upon special and state occasions. Then it was that 
suitors caught a glimpse of their future brides, and 
received glances which bespake love. 

As among eastern nations, the bridegroom usually 
did not see his wife before marriage. When the 
preliminaries had been arranged and settled by third 
parties, the bridegroom sent a present of sweetmeats and 
a whip to his bride elect, who always spent the night 
before the marriage ceremony at the house of the bride- 
groom's parents. On the day of the marriage he put 
into one of his boots sweetmeats or a trinket, into 
the other a whip ; the newly wedded wife took off the 
boots, and to remove first that which contained the 
trinket was considered the omen of a happy life for the 
woman. " But if she light on the boot with a whip in 
it, she is reckoned among the unfortunate and gets a 
bride-lash for her pains, which is but the earnest penny 
of her future entertainment." There were also other 
little passes during the complex ceremony, the winning 
of any indicating the mastery during wedded life. 

Such was the woman's lot in the seventeenth century, 
but much was done to better it before Peter the Great 
introduced western freedom. Collins wrote in 1674 : 

"The Russian discipline to their wives is very rigid and 
severe, more inhuman in times past than at present. Yet 
three years ago a Moscow merchant beat his wife as long as he 
was able, with a whip two inches round, and then caused her 
to put on a smock dript in brandy, to which he set fire, and 


Customs and Quaint Survivals 

so the poor creature perished miserably in flames. Yet none 
prosecuted her death, for there is no law against killing a 
woman, or slave, if it happens on correction. Some of these 
beasts will tie up their wives by the hair of the head and whip 
them stark naked. Now parents make better matches for their 
daughters, obliging husbands to contract to use them kindly, 
without whipping, striking or kicking them." 

Even Peter's code was cruel : it was during his 
reign that Le Bruyn saw a woman executed in Moscow 
by being buried alive ; covered up to her neck in the 
dank black soil she lived but two days, whereas, on the 
same authority, there were others who lingered ten or 
more. In Russia, as in countries further west, the 
crime of petty treason, the murder of a husband, was 
considered almost as heinous as high treason, and 
punished accordingly. 

Kept closely confined to a small apartment, living 
almost always in heated rooms the Russian ladies had 
fair complexions ; " white cream-and-snow tinged with 
the faint hue of the inside of a camellia " one poet 
describes it. Others are not so generous ; Turberville 
writes : 

" To buy her painted colours, doth allowe his wife a fee 
Wherewith she deckes herselfe, and dyes her tawny skin ; 
She prankes and paints her smoakie face, 
Browe, lippe, cheeke and chinne." 

All writers complain that the women painted with- 
out art ; many blacked their teeth, and stained their 
nails with henna, a custom which obtained with the 
wives of Russian merchants to the present century. 
So, too, after Peter the Great forced women from the 
seclusion of the terem, it was the custom of ladies to 
present to each other in public their paint boxes, even 
as in the west men offered snufF. It was not until 
after the French invasion that this custom died out, 
and Pushkin endeavoured to advance the new order 


by deriding the practice and ridiculing the English 
governors who followed it. On the other hand, a lady 
of the court who, much to the chagrin of others, 
refused to paint her face, was compelled to do so by 
order of the Tsar, to whom complaint had been made. 

As women were free in the Russia of the Norsemen, 
the seclusion in the terem was either a custom adopted 
from Byzantium or, more probably, a precautionary 
measure to protect them from Tartar invaders. The 
purpose of these invasions has already been stated, and 
as on one foray the Tartars are reported to have taken 
away 400,000 captives from Russia, the hiding ot 
women and children in portions of the dwellings to 
which men at no time had access was doubtless con- 
sidered to enhance their chances of escape during the 
temporary absence of the master in the front of the 
battle ; and from being a temporary retreat it became 
the ordinary living apartments. But the custom was a 
town one ; not practised by villagers. 

The Russians were largely flesh eaters, meat and 
fish constituted the diet not only of the well to do but 
of the peasants. In the north Le Bruyn found the 
natives feeding even their beasts on fish, and Ysbrant 
noted the same practice among the inhabitants east of 
the Ural. Jenkinson found that the Muscovites had 
" many sortes of meates, and delight in eating gross 
meates and stinking fish." Brandy was served round 
before eating commenced, a custom that still obtains and 
was originally derived from the Norsemen. Collins 
states that horse-flesh was forbidden ; also hare, rabbit, 
and elk. At some seasons veal was forbidden ; any 
thing sweetened with sugar, or candy, on fast days ; 
and, at all times, dishes flavoured with musk, civet 
and beaver. The chief dish at a banquet given to 
Herberstein was of swan, served with sour milk, 
pickled gherkins and plums. There was abundance 


Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

of corn, and some of the commoner vegetables ; the 
fruits were insipid ; except filberts, Herberstein found 
none of the sweeter kinds of fruit or nuts. Water 
melons were grown and then, as now, the Russians fed 
upon many different kinds of fungus ; some thirteen 
varieties found in the neighbourhood of Moscow are 
edible, but the Russian regards as scarcely wholesome 
the only mushroom eaten in England. 

Tea was known to the Russians of the middle ages ; 
some quaint samovars are preserved in the Dom 
Romanof, but the medieval Russ found his greatest 
pleasure in drinking mead, brandy and strong liquors. 
Before drinking it was the custom to blow in the cup ; to 
guests and strangers wine was offered by, or on behalf 
of, each member of the host's family, in small cups or 
glasses, then, to conclude, a huge cup filled to the brim 
from which it was the correct etiquette to take but a sip. 

In Sylvester's " Domostroi " the correct etiquette 
for masters and servants is set forth. At table the 
diner may " blow his nose, must spit without noise, 
take care to turn away from the company, and put his 
foot over the place." Instead of advising the lord to 
sell old slaves and cattle, as Cato told the Romans to 
do, Sylvester requires that old servants who are no 
longer good for anything must be " fed and clothed, 
in consideration of their former services." Then, for 
the servant ; " when a man sends his servant to honest 
people, he should on arriving knock softly at the door 
of the grand entrance ; when the slave comes to ask 
what he wants, he must reply * I have nought to do 
with thee, but with him to whom I am sent.' He 
must say only from whom he comes, so that the man 
may tell his master. On the threshold of the chamber 
he will wipe his feet on the straw. Before entering he 
will blow his nose, spit and say a prayer. If no one calls 
jlmen ! to him, he will say another prayer ; if there 


The Story of Moscow 

is still no answer, a third prayer in a louder voice. If 
still no answer, he may then knock at the door. On 
entering he must bow before the sacred ikon ; then he 
will explain his errand : he must not touch his nose, or 
spit, or cough ; look neither to right nor left." 

The Tsars derived much revenue from a cursemay 
or drinking tavern in each town, which was let out to 
tenants or bestowed upon some courtier for a year or 
two, " then, he being grown rich, is taken by the Tsar 
and sent to the warres again, where he shall spend all 
that which he hath gotten by ill means, so that the 
Tsar in his warres is little charged, but all the burden 
lieth on the poor people." 

Jenkinson writes : " At my being there, I heard of 
men and women that drunk away their children and all 
their goods at the Tsar's tavern, and not being able to 
pay, having pawned himself, the taverner bringeth him 
out to the highway, and beates him upon the legs ; 
then they that pass by, knowing the cause and perad- 
venture, having compassion upon him, giveth the money, 
so he is ransomed." 

During carnival there were many deaths due to ex- 
cessive drinking and the extreme cold, for it was then 
that all had licence to drink and make merry. The 
Tsar Vasili Ivanievich (1505-1533) gave permission 
to some of his courtiers to drink at any time, but in 
order that their habits might not corrupt the people 
they had to live apart in a special suburb, which was 
appointed them on the south side of the river, where 
for a time all the dwellers were known by the name 
of Nali or "Drinkers." 

" Folke fit to be of Bacchus train, so quaffing is their kinde, 

Drinke is their sole desire, the pot is all their pride ; 

The sob'rest head doth once a day stand needful of a guide, 

And if he goe into his neighbour as a guest, 

He cares for little meat, if so his drinke be of the best." 


Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

The Muscovites knew not how to dance. At their 
merrymakings they made Tartars and Poles dance 
to amuse them ; their music was obtained from brass 
hunting horns, trumpets, cymbals and the bagpipes. 
Kotoshin states that the boyards were "dull, ignorant 
men, who sit in silence, stroking their beards and making 
no reply to anything said to them." The common 
people amused themselves on the " sway " or sea-saw ; 
they loved to assemble in crowds and to sing and drink 
together. Some were drawn up and down in chairs, 
others went round and round in flying-chairs affixed to 
wheels pivoted, some perpendicularly, others horizon- 
tally ; in short, the prototypes of the " merry-go-rounds " 
and " high-flyers " of pleasure fairs in Britain and else- 
where. In winter they sped down ice hills on their 
small sledges (tobogganing), and few only took pleasure 
in field sports, trapping birds and animals being part of 
the business of the lives of most ; coursing and falconry 
the privilege of the Tsar and his suite. 

In winter when the boyard stirred out of doors it 
was always in his sledge, where he lay upon a carpet 
in the skin of a polar bear. The sledge was drawn by 
a single horse " well decked," a little boy astride its 
back, and servants of the boyard stood upon the tail of 
the sledge. 

As traders they had an unenviable reputation. " The 
people of Moscow are more cunning and deceitful than 
all others, their honour being especially slack in busi- 
ness contracts of which fact they themselves are by 
no means ignorant for, whenever they traffic with 
foreigners, they pretend, in order to attain greater 
credit, that they are not men of Moscow but strangers." 
The market was in the Kitai Gorod. There the foreign 
merchants had their warehouses, and for centuries a 
Gostinnoi Dvor, not unlike the bazaar of Stamboul, 
occupied the site of the recently erected New Rows 

2 37 

The Story of Moscow 

(Novi Riadi), but even at the present day the picturesque 
is not extirpated from the wholesale market. The 
Starai Gostinnoi Dvor has quite a charm of its own, 
and the adventurous sightseer 
who, not content with passing 
through it from the Ilyinka, 
turns off into the alleys furthest 
from the Krasnce Ploshchad 
towards the wall of the Kitai- 
gorod, will see curious 
courtyards having 
large galleries around 
them ; huge hatch- 
ways communicating 
with the vast vaults 
and stores below. 
Quaint shops line the wall 
>-- of the Kitai-gorod from 
the Varvarka gate right up 
to the Nikolskaya ; with a 
sort of permanent rag fair 
at that end, where, too, 
from the introduction of 
printing, the stalls and shops of the booksellers have 
been located. Another surviving market for miscel- 
laneous articles from old ikons and bludgeons to 
picked up trinkets and immense samovars is held 
from six o'clock till noon on Sunday mornings around 
the Sukharev Bashnia. From time immemorial a great 
fair for frozen fish and game has been held outside the 
Kitai-gorod wall as soon as winter's frost sets in. In 
this commercial district are various old churches of in- 
terest and, in the Cherkassky pereulok, the place of 
legal combat for those who justified their cause by an 
appeal to strength and skill. 

In the administration of justice much was lacking, 



Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

the principle of the paternal rule of the sovereign 
necessitating direct appeal by means of a petition. 
Later, a Prikase or office of direction was established, 
and this was followed by others empowered with the 
control of affairs relating respectively to carmen, 
Siberia, criminals, etc. As in all countries, misde- 
meanours against the property or liberties of indi- 
viduals was regarded as a matter for personal redress 
by the party aggrieved ; only those against the crown 
called for the active interference of the sovereign through 
his body-guard. The use of torture and some western 
methods of judicial procedure were introduced by 
Sophia Palealogus and the Italians who followed her, 
and were grafted upon native customs. 

In the reign of Ivan the Terrible, legal procedure 
was as follows : 

" When any dispute arises they appoint, in the first place, 
the land owners to act as judges, and these if unable to settle the 
dispute, refer the case to a higher magistrate. The com- 
plainant asks the magistrate for leave to summon his adversary 
to court; the leave granted, he calls an attendant (sergeant), 
cites the accused and hurries him along to the court. The at- 
tendant keeps scourging the man about the shins with the 
knout, until he can bring forward someone who on his behalf 
can satisfy the law. If he has no friend to go bail for him, 
the sergeant, grasping him by the neck, drags him along and 
subjects him to blows, until before the court to plead his cause. 
If it be a suit to recover a debt, the defendant is asked by the 
magistrate whether he is in debt to the plaintiff, and replies that 
he is not in his debt. Then the judge asks, ' In what form can 
you make denial! ' The defendant answers, 'Upon my oath.' 
Thereupon the sergeant is forbidden by the magistrate to ad- 
minister further blows, until the evidence makes the case clearer. 

" The Muscovites are exempt from a great curse to a com- 
munity, in that they have no pettifogging lawyers. Every 
man conducts his own case, and the plaint of the pursuer 
and defence ot the accused are submitted to the prince in 
the form of written petitions, craving for a just sentence at 
his hands. When each party has supported his case with all 
the arguments available, the judge asks the accuser whether 


The Story of Moscow 

any arguments remain. He answers that he himself, or his 
champion for him, will, with a strong hand, make good his 
accusation on the person of his opponent, and he further 
demands leave to engage with him in single combat. Liberty 
to fight is accorded both disputants, who rush simultaneously 
to the onset. But if one or both be not strong enough to 
fight, they engage professional pugilists as substitutes. These 
men enter the lists arme<I, chiefly with a war-club and a hunt- 
ing-pole. The fighting is on foot. He whose champion is 
beaten is cast at once in prison, where he is most shamefully 
treated, until he ends his dispute with his enemy. If of high 
rank it is not allowed to get proxies. If a poor man has 
incurred a debt, and is unable to pay, the creditor carries him 
off and makes him labour for him, yea he even lets out his 
services on hire to someone else, until by his labour he fills up 
the amount of his debt." 

Harry Best, an Englishman, made good his claim 
against a defaulter in a trial by combat, which resulted 
in an immediate petition by the Muscovites to the Tsar, 
to forbid foreigners engaging in the lists with citizens. 
As for criminals : thieves were imprisoned and knouted 
but were not hanged for a first offence ; for a second 
offence, a thief lost the nose or an ear and was branded 
on the forehead ; the third offence was punished with 
crucifixion, which was a customary penalty long after 
the days of Ivan IV. Impalement in various ways 
was also practised ; heretics were burned ; false-coiners 
boiled in oil ; during winter the condemned were thrust 
under the ice and drowned. The long category of 
barbarous punishments borrowed from the west, being 
minutely followed in addition to excisions, amputations, 
mutilations and cruelties of local origin. One of these 
may be mentioned, "the death by 10,000 pieces," 
when the condemned was cut away bit by bit and the 
parts seared to prevent death by haemorrhage before it 
was necessary to attack a vital part. Another form of 
it was to insert a hook under a rib and pull the bone 
out of the side the Muscovite equivalent of the 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

western method of extorting money from Jews by the 
extraction of tooth after tooth. Ivan " Groznoi " 
practised even worse cruelties. The widow of one of 
his victims he put astride a coarse rope and drew her to 
and fro upon it until sawn through in this rivalling 
the excesses of enthusiastic religious persecutors in the 
Netherlands. More refined was his fiendish practice 
of hanging in the doorway of a boyard's house his 
wife, child, or some other loved one of the boyard, then 
compel the man to go to and fro past the corpse that 
day by dj;y became more repulsive. Worse even than 
this did Ivan " Groznoi," the cruel Tsar, but his worst 
need not be mentioned unless, at some future time, men 
name him not the " Terrible," but call him the 

In the days of Peter the Great men were still im- 
paled or crucified ; were burned in small pens filled 
with straw ; were beheaded on a block and " hanged 
as elsewhere." Le Bruyn says, one day he saw a 
man burned alive, and in another part of the town a 
woman buried, with small tapers burning near her ; 
and " all executions with such silence, that what takes 
place at one end of the town is unknown at the other." 
Afterwards, were such barbarities as the Empress 
Elizabeth ordered to be inflicted upon the Boyarina 
Lapunof, and still later such cruelties as the Countess 
Soltikov exercised on her serfs. In fact the tale of 
Moscow's woe was not told until the advent to the 
throne of that greatest of dead Tsars, Alexander II., 
the true reformer of Russia. 

In the olden days the bearers of too illustrious names 
were forbidden to marry ; others might not marry 
without permission first obtained ; leave was necessary 
before one could carry arms. In times of peace it was 
unusual for weapons to be worn, a staff shod with steel 
took the place of sword or dagger, the voievodes only 

Q 241 

The Story of Moscow 

wore side arms generally. Trade was the privilege of 
the Tsar, and those to whom he granted the right ; 
pen work was always done by humble secretaries or diaks 
in the end they became the masters, rather than the 
servants of their employers. 

In their bearing towards their superiors, ecclesiastic 
and secular, the Russian was abject in his deference ; 
the customary mode of address being similar to that of 
the east. In Byzantium the petitioner prostrated himself 
and called, " May I speak and yet live ? " In Moscow 
the Russ cried, " Bid me not to be chastised, bid me 
speak, I the humble, etc.," and in Russian a petition, 
literally, is a "beating of the forehead" before superi- 
ority. Peter the Great did much to discourage the 
abject prostration of his subjects before the property of 
the crown, but as late as the reign of the Emperor 
Nicholas some serfs were compelled to uncover when 
passing any mansion of their lord, whilst other nobles 
expressly forbade it. The Church never expressly 
forbade prostration before sacred objects as Peter did 
before secular property, so in that, the old custom 
survives. But it is probably owing to the earlier use, 
and not particularly to the image of our Saviour over 
the Spasski Gate, that it is customary still to uncover 
when passing to or from the Kremlin by the state 
entrance. For in Russia when a practice has been 
once enjoined by a person in authority it will be con- 
tinued until expressly forbidden. It is said that many 
years ago a distinguished visitor to one of the royal 
residences inquired why it was thought necessary to 
station a sentry in the centre of a grassplot in the 
pleasure grounds. It was then discovered that once 
upon a time, a Tsaritsa, long deceased, had noticed an 
early snow-drop budding forth at that spot, and ex- 
pressed her wish that the flower should be protected. 
To ensure its safety a sentry mounted guard, and so 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

for many years, day and night, in all seasons, a sentry 
continued to be posted there ; for, although the circum- 
stances had been forgotten, the order was conscientiously 

The rites of the orthodox church are not subject to 
change, and the ceremonies of to-day are practically the 
same as they were centuries ago. One of the most 
characteristic is connected with the periodical removal 
of some sacred picture from its ikonostas to a special 
service in a church dedicated to some other saint, or 
associated with a particular episode in the life of our 
Saviour. After a preliminary service, the ikon is taken 
down and reverently borne away by the priests appointed, 
attended by prelates, deacons, acolytes, choristers and 
the bearers of "standards." These standards znamia, 
literally " token " are akin to the banners of the 
western Church ; they are of diverse form, usually of 
metal, adorned with gems, and always have either a 
representation of a saint or some sacred symbol upon 
them. Some are but a fit setting to a small ikon ; many 
are beautiful specimens of metal work, others are of 
curious design, all are attractive ; and when, sometimes 
to the number of a' hundred or more, they are carried 
aloft through the streets of the old town, they add 
greatly to the stateliness of an impressive pageant. 

It is on such occasions as these and they are many 
that the attitude of the people towards their church 
may be studied with advantage, and the beholder will 
realise how strong is the affection of the orthodox for 
all that pertains to their religion. The great reverence 
shown the symbols, the fervour and sincerity of the 
greeting, are convincing evidence of deeply-rooted 
belief, simple piety and existing close relations between 
the Church and people. In short, a procession of this 
kind does more than suggest the religious phase of 
medievalism, it is a revelation of its actual potency. 


7 'be Story of Moscow 

Easter is of course the great festival ; then the Great 
Bell of Moscow thunders forth that Christ has risen, 
and the people embrace each other and with pious glee 
call " Vosskresenni Khristos" much as in the west 
acquaintance greet each other with good wishes at the 
new year. Students of comparative ecclesiasticism 
cannot afford to miss witnessing the celebration of the 
feast in Moscow any more than they can that in Rome. 

On Trinity Sunday not only are the churches strewn 
with newly cut herbage and decorated with budding 
branches, but all houses " sport greenery " it is a 
combination of the old time customs of May-Day and 
Yuletide in the west. The sacred ikons figure in all 
ceremonies, and private individuals in times of distress 
requisition them. They are conveyed with consider- 
able pomp to the bedside of the dying, or to the homes 
of the fortunate, pious in their rejoicing. The church 
is all inclusive and makes no distinction ; is as ready to 
comfort the most notorious sinner as it is the devout 
communicant of irreproachable rectitude and honour. 

The ikon most desired is that known as the Iberian 
Mother of God, whose chapel stands before the 
Vosskresenski Gate. Close by a carriage and six 
remains in attendance, and usually towards evening it 
starts forth on long journeys across the town, its 
round often unfinished when morning dawns. Its 
place on the ikonostas is filled by a copy, but the 
original is at once restored on its return. Men un- 
cover as the carriage passes by ; those near, when it 
is carried to or from a house, prostrate themselves or 
attempt to kiss it, some endeavour so to arrange that 
the picture must be carried over them. Another ikon 
in request is that kept at the Vladimirski Vorot ; all 
have great homage paid them. Priests, drivers, at- 
tendants, are uncovered, even in the depth of winter; 
and to be appointed to any post in connection with it 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 


is counted a great honour. It is said that the offerings 
of the thankful in return for the privileges conferred by 
"visiting" have amounted to as much as ; 10,000 in 
a single year in respect of one picture 
alone. This money is part of the church 
revenue the servants attending with the 
ikon receivir.:; presents in addition. 

Originally the private ikon was a 
picture of the patron saint of its 
owner. As every day in the year is 
a saint's day, the saint of the day on 
which a person happened to be born 
was considered his patron ; often he 
took that saint's name, if some 
other were chosen then the re- 
cipient must be christened on 
the day assigned to that saint, 
and thus the " name " day is 
distinct from the birthday and is 
observed, whilst the anniversary of 
one's birth may or may not be 
celebrated. Often, indeed usually, 
an ikon of the Virgin now occupies 
the "sacred corner." It is so 
placed that it must be visible on A CHASTOK 

entering the room and receive the 
obeisance of the orthodox ; it is also, as it were, 
to be a witness of all that takes place before it. 
To do anything wrong in the presence of an ikon 
makes the fault the greater ; persistent evil-doers screen 
the ikon before wilfully transgressing. It was even 
made one of the charges in the indictment of the false 
Tsar Dmitri that he neglected to veil the ikon the day 
of his marriage. To western minds such an attitude 
is as incomprehensible as the action related in one of 
Tolstoi's stories, of the pious peasants who, about to 


murder their offspring, knelt reverently by the hole they 
had made in the ice and prayed to God that He would 
protect and bless them. But the Russian understands. 

The private ikon, or some other sacred picture, 
always precedes the corpse at the funerals of the 
orthodox. The obsequies of the wealthy are still 
conducted with great pomp ; the modern practice of 
hiding the coffin beneath wreaths and crosses being 
combined with the more austere solemnities of a 
statelier age. The church of St Sophia, on the south 
side of the Moskva, opposite the Kremlin, is much 
used in connection with military funerals and those of 
a public character. The peasant's coffin is simply 
covered with a pall, and the bier carried through 
the streets shoulder-high, with no other pomp than 
the ikon reverently borne some paces ahead of the 
cortege. The hands of the dead one are closed 
over a paper on which is printed a prayer for the 
repose of his soul, the deceased's baptismal name being 
written in, and this is the only justification for the 
assertions of the early writers that "the Russ when 
he dies hath his passport to Saint Nicholas buried 
with him." 

If it is the practice to decorate the ikon with pre- 
sented jewels, it was not only counted a sin but a 
crime to take any back again. Collins says that 
the punishment for so doing was the loss of a hand, 
as befell a woman " who thought she had but lent 
to the image " she favoured. With the private 
ikon " they do as they will, decorating the ikon one 
day and with the same tawdry themselves the next," 
an indication that the ignorant peasant may treat his 
ikon much as the West African negroes treat their 

A common object in Moscow of to-day is the watch- 
tower or chastok, where night and day sentinels patrol 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

on the look out for fires, not nowadays so frequent or 
so disastrous as formerly, since the erection of wooden 
houses within the town limits has been forbidden. In 
summer, when the signal is run up on the staff, numerous 
one horse drays, each with a small barrel of water, hurry 
to the scene and in somewhat primitive fashion attempt 
to quench the conflagration. If a wooden house the 
fire usually subsides when the roof with its thick layer 
of earth between rafters and plates collapses. Dearly 
paid for experience has taught the Muscovite how the 
spread of fires may best be stopped where water 
is scarce and hydrants far distant. Primitive and 
mediaeval in many things, Moscow reveals how the 
people of long past ages overcame the difficulties in- 
cidental to life in large cities, and a great fire will 
bring together such an array of water carts as will 
convince the beholder of the very thorough organisa- 
tion of a department charged with the duty of safe- 
guarding public safety. 

Even the vehicles exhibit a survival from medievalism 
since each horse is harnessed beneath a duga or piece of 
bent wood intended to strengthen the shafts, as it is by 
them alone the load is hauled, and traces are unknown. 
The duga, just as it is to-day, was used with the first 
wheeled vehicles introduced to Russia and will persist 
for aye. But the observant stranger will not lack enter- 
tainment in Moscow, especially if he shows generous 
toleration of primitive customs. If a house be building, 
the simple and superstitious working man, his original 
intention being now directed by the church to a mani- 
festation of piety, will first raise above all the scaffolding 
a well made, often decorated, cross, so seeking a 
blessing from the good by the same sign that his early 
ancestors sought to appease the powers of evil. The 
carter, whose horse drops with heat sickness, will get 
the animal on his legs again and cause him three times 


The Story of Moscow 

to cross the duga he purposely places thwartwise. To 
those versed in symbols an act as easy to understand as 
the every day remedy of the kitchenmaid who puts the 
poker across the bars of the grate to prevent the newly 
lighted fire from being extinguished a not commend- 
able practice yet effective epithem. Sprite ridden the 
Moscow peasant is still, but though " it " moves him 
to do many things of which he knows not the reason, 
merely obeying the prompting intuitively, he has forgotten 
what this " it " is that must be appeased. A bridge, a 
girder cantilever across a wide estuary or a couple of 
planks across a ditch, is not finished till some trifle has 
been cast into the water, in this the mujik being not 
unlike the skipper of a Grimsby trawler who tosses a 
new coin into the ocean before lowering his net. 

The enthusiast may attempt to trace the direct con- 
nection between baksheesh, nachai, and the extortion of 
gratuities generally, with the ancient practice of trifling 
sacrifices to some mythical demon ; both old as the offer 
of a cock by Socrates to ./Esculapius, and world-wide as 
the application of a door-key to the spine as a cure for 
nasal haemorrhage. In such matters may hap Moscow 
is as other towns, and neither mediaeval nor peculiar. 

But whosoever of a summer's night will wander into 
the suburbs will hear the policeman on his round beating 
two pieces of wood together with aggravating rhythm. 
If the listener be country-bred the noise will remind 
him of the farm boy of old days who, with wooden 
clapper, scared birds from the corn. If he be so 
curious as to examine the instrument he will find it 
to be a piece of board with a handle, and a wooden 
ball attached to it with a piece of twine. The knock- 
ing of the two together to produce an intermittent whirr 
is accomplished by a curious turn of the wrist. The 
watchman will explain that the noise is to warn garden- 
robbers and other depredators of his coming, or to advise 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

his employers that he is about his duty. The most 
learned ethnologist of the west says that an identical 
instrument, handled in the same manner, is employed 
by the minor priests of a wild race in the far far east 
to drive away evil spirits from the native temple. 

Further a-field a twenty-five kopeck ride on a 
lineika from the Trubaya Ostankina is reached. 
There is a curious and elegant church of red brick 
built by Moscow artisans in the golden age, at the 
cost of the boyard Mikhail Cherkassky. Near by is 
a great wooden palace, stuccoed and prim, the property 
of the Sheremetievs. Passing through its park where 
Le Bruyn shot his great crane flying by a single bullet 
from his musket, and where the upper reaches of the 
Yauza are still haunted by wild fowl, is a thick wood 
to the north of the stream, and in the middle of that 
near the path, a clearing where at midday a drove of 
mares are coralled and milked by men who speak a 
strange tongue, and are of quite different appearance 
to the Muscovites. A mile further on is their village, 
near a large pool. It is a poor, insignificant, rather 
dirty and very untidy place. Mordva its name ; 
Mordva its people, whose ancestors, many centuries ago, 
left their home among the Altai Mountains on the 
confines of Manchuria and spread westward over Russia, 
fighting with their later conquerors almost to their own 
extermination. Various isolated groups of this once 
powerful race are scattered about Russia, mixing but 
little with its people. These, who through long 
centuries have been resident in the heart of Muscovy, 
seems as incongruous and impossible as would be the 
present occupation of Hampstead Heath by survivors 
of ancient Picts in the full glory of their primitive 
customs. It is nearest to the great towns that primitive 
methods and beliefs persist most strongly, and just as 
in the villages about London, antiquated farming im- 


The Story of Moscow 

plements and old country superstitions are more plentiful 
than in the rural districts of England, so near Moscow 
the old customs and manners die hard. In villages 
within easy walk of the Kremlin, mediaeval practices 


are rife, especially during the celebration of marriages, 
and the performance of minor domestic pageants. 
The curious, if persistent and lucky, may see the 
bowl of Tantalus presented to the mother of the bride 
of yesterday, and as the liquor escapes the cup by 
the hole in its bottom from which the profferer has 
removed his finger, guess at the significance of the 
custom and speculate as to its origin. 

Ancient Customs and Quaint Survivals 

Within the town almost every old building has its 
legends. Very diverse are those connected with the 
Lobnoe Mesto on the Grand Square. It derived its 
name literally " the place of a skull " from the 
Golgotha that was erected there for the Easter Passion 
play which was performed yearly before the church of 
the Trinity disappeared. From time immemorial it 
has been the place of public assembly, being to Moscow 
what St Paul's Cross was to old London, and the 
perron to Liege. Therefore, as all who have studied 
the migration of symbols will know, not only is it of 
very early origin, but associated with stories in some 
form common to all peoples. 

Another almost universal superstition is in Moscow 
attached to the Sukharev Bashnia, which is supposed 
to be the feminine complement of the Ivan Veliki 
tower in the Kremlin. The people call the Sukharev 
the jena (wife) of Ivan, and, according to tradition, 
Jack and Jenny get nearer to each other every year. 

Visitors for whom folk-lore has no attraction will 
look for the picturesque in Moscow. The most 
characteristic view, the prospect the tourist expects, is 
that seen by turning westward along the boulevard 
from the Lubianka, and keeping along the south foot- 
path, near the wall, watch the old town appear little 
by little as the brow of the hill is reached. Houses 
of all sorts and colours a facade like that of a 
classic temple, domes blue, green and golden, the red 
tower of a Chastok, a medley of roofs and walls, all 
these will appear framed in the foliage of the trees on 
the boulevards, and those overhanging the walls of the 
Rojdestvenka Convent, until the valley of the Neglinnaia 
is right below and the crosses and domes of the Petrovski 
Monastery are disclosed to view. Then it is time to 
cross the road to the centre of the boulevard and see 
Moscow unfold itself walls and towers changing like 


The Story of Moscow 

the coloured fragments in a kaleidoscope. Opposite, 
where the bank rises to the Strastnoi Monastery, 
was once the old village of Vissotski older, it is 
said, than Moscow town, or Kremlin, or even the 
hall of Kuchkovo and the twelfth century hamlet on 
the Chisty Prud at the back. 

Again, ascend the belfry of St.Nikita in the Gon- 
charevskaya ; time the very early morning, and see 
the rising sun glitter on the domes of the Kremlin, 
and the churches of the Bielo Gorod ; or, when it 
has long passed the meridian, watch the afterglow 
reflected from the thousand domes, tinting the white 
walls from the balcony of Krinkin's on the Hill of 
Salutation. Stay on and watch the great white town, 
silent, reposeful and glorious, fade into the haze of 
the " white-night " ; see it shimmering in the moon- 
light, or the glare of midday sun ; sparkling feebly 
in the blue star light, or glowing like a new-cast 
ingot in the blackness of winter's midnight ; see it 
how, when and where you may, solve the enigma of 
its vitality if you can but neither doubt its strength, 
nor question its beauty. 


Tbi, Kara xapiia 

H HajT> M3JOK) piKOEO 
nriin;i, H 


The Convents and Monasteries 

"These are the haunts of meditation, these 
The scenes where ancient bards th' inspiring breath 
Esctatic felt ; and from the world retired, 
Conversed with angels and immortal forms, 
On gracious errands bent." THOMSON. 

D USSIAN monks all belong to one order, that based 
*V on the rule of St Basil the Great, practically the 
only order of " black " clergy recognised by the Eastern 
Church. The first monastery in Russia was founded 
by St Anthony, a Russian who, after living some time 
on Mount Athos, returned to Kiev, and there, in 1055, 
conjunctly with St Theodosius, established the Pecherski 
Monastery, on the same ride as that of the Studemi 
one of the strictest of the clerical institutions in Con- 
stantinople. The Pecherski still ranks highest among 
the monasteries of Russia. The one of greatest im- 
portance in Moscow, though not the most ancient, is 
that of -the Miracles (Chudov) founded in the fourteenth 
century by St Alexis, the Metropolitan. It stands 
within the Kremlin, between the two Imperial palaces, 
on a spot which long ago was a part of the enclosure 
around the dwelling of the Tartar bashkak,or "resident." 
At the time when one Chani-Bek was khan, his wife, 
Taidula, fell ill and was healed by Alexis, to whom 
out of gratitude she presented her gold signet ring with 
its effigy of the Great Dragon, and a site for the 

2 S3 

The Story of Moscow 

Monastery of the Miracles. The first building was 
erected in 1365, and the monastery long served as the 
residence of the primates of Moscow ; it has been many 
times destroyed and rebuilt ; the present building dates 
from the reign of the first Romanof, and, at the time 
of writing, is in course of extensive alteration. Passing 
before the Church, with the curious paper ikon outside, 
a large gateway will be found in the angle where the 
Chudov buildings abut against those of the smaller 
Imperial palace ; passing through this, the visitor will 
find himself in a large Courtyard ; the Church of St 
Michael is on the right, a small railed-in cemetery among 
the trees on the left. The Monastery, a mean, dilapi- 
dated, straggling two-storeyed building, extends almost 
completely around the quadrangle ; the chief rooms, on 
the bel-etage, communicate with a long outside covered 
gallery, closely resembling the yard of an old London 
inn, which is reached by the perron in the western 
corner. The Church of St Michael, the Archistratigus, 
was built conjointly with the Monastery in 1365, rebuilt 
in i 504, and later restored in its primitive style, so has 
preserved even more than any other church in Moscow 
the original character of Muscovite ecclesiastic archi- 
tecture. The interior is well worth seeing, but access 
is not easy ; the best time is after early matins, which 
are celebrated about thrice weekly at 7 A.M. 

The frescoes are very primitive, and for Moscow, 
original. The old-fashioned low ikonostas is of a type 
common to " wooden Russia " ; the ancient ikons call 
only for the attention of the student, but on the High 
Altar is a tabernacle in the form of a church with 
twelve domes which has wider interest. It is the work 
of Remizov in the reign of Mikhail Theodorovich. 
Within the courtyard, traces of Tartar graves have been 
found ; and the cemetery contains the tombs of Edeger 
the last "Tsar " of Kazan, r 565 and of many Mos- 

The Convents and Monasteries 

cow families, as the Trubetskis, Kovanskis, Sherbatovs, 
etc. The state rooms are still used by the head of the 
Church in Moscow ; they look out towards Ivan Veliki, 
immediately above the little window at which the Holy 
Bread is sold. Although the monastery has been the 
scene of many important events in connection with the 
history of the Church and of Moscow it was here that 
Maxim, the Greek, studied, and Latin was first taught, 
1 506 there is nothing either in the refectory or com- 
mon rooms connected with them, for the monastery was 
erected during the plague riots of 1 77 1 and spoiled by the 
French. The church of the Patriarch Alexis is entered 
from the Tsar's Square through a portico, of a pseudo- 
Gothic style, designed by Kasakov in the eighteenth 
century, but the church itself was constructed in 1 686, and 
the remains of St Alexis the Metropolitan then con- 
veyed there in the presence of the Tsarevna Sophia and 
the boy-Tsars Ivan V. and Peter I. It occupies the site 
of an earlier church founded in 1483, and contains the 
incorruptible remains of the Saint. Alexis, the wonder- 
worker, was descended from a boyard family named 
Pleskov. Born in 1292, he passed twenty-two years 
of his life in Moscow, a student of the Bogo-yavlenski 
Monastery ; after admission he was for twelve years 
one of the household of the Archbishop, and later 
became bishop of Vladimir, and Metropolitan of Kief. 
His care of the two child princes of Moscow, his 
direction of Dmitri Donskoi and sturdy championship 
of Moscow, and his efforts to maintain its supremacy, 
endeared him to the people. When he died in 1378, 
at the age of eighty-five, he was buried within the 
Chudov monastery he had founded ; there in 1439 his 
remains were discovered undecayed, and miraculous 
qualities attributed to them. In 1519, Balaam the 
Metropolitan informed Vasili Ivanovich, then the 
reigning Grand-Duke, that the blind in visiting the 

The Story of Moscow 

tomb of Alexis were restored to sight. Since that 
date the memory of Alexis has been held in highest 
reverence by the orthodox, and in the public esteem 
he ranks with St Peter, first among the Patron Saints 
of Moscow. Consequently the church is one of the 
richest ; it was spoiled by the French, who cast the 
silver shrine of the saint into the melting pot, and his 
moshi were found under a heap of lumber after the 
flight of Napoleon. Much of the decoration is new, 
but in the style of the time of Alexis Mikhailovich, of 
which the pavement is particularly characteristic. The 
new shrine is of silver, so are the royal doors of the 
sanctuary ; for them some 420 Ibs were needed, and 
the tabernacle, the chandeliers and the elaborate 
ikonostas are all of sterling metal, and there is a 
magnificent archiepiscopal mitre presented by Prince 
Potemkin. The original cofHn of the saint is preserved 
in a glass case near the silver shrine, and by it are kept 
the identical pastoral staff he used in Moscow, and other 
personal relics. Among these are manuscript copies 
of the New Testament executed by the saint, as also 
his holograph will. The library has some hundreds 
of old illuminated and other manuscript books, in- 
cluding a psalter of the thirteenth century, and a 
collection of old printed books of the seventeenth 
century. This church, the adjoining chapel of the 
Annunciation, and the monastery are all closely as- 
sociated with the introduction of pedagogy to Moscow ; 
it was here that the first scholastic seminary for priests 
was founded, and later an academy was developed. 
It became customary for parents to bring their children 
hither before their entry to any school, in order that 
the blessing of St Alexis might be asked, and some 
peasants of the village at one time owned by the saint 
make a pilgrimage to his shrine on his name day, and 
pray for their " Lord." The sacristy has a valuable 

The Convents and Monasteries 

collection of old plate ; the crosses, panagies, mitres, 
vases, goblets, etc., are remarkable for their beauty and 
rich decoration, and second only to those of the 
collection in the sacristy of the Patriarchs. 

Naturally the Monastery of the Miracles is closely 
associated with the more renowned of the wonder- 
working ikons of Russia. The most celebrated now 
existing there are : the trimorphic paper ikon of the 
Holy Trinity, that of St Nicholas the wonder-worker, 
and that of St Anastasia. In 1771, when Moscow 
was decimated by the plague, it was believed that the 
ikon of the Virgin (Bogoloobski) at the Varvarka 
Vorot wrought miraculous cures. It was so thronged 
by worshippers and the pestilent stricken that, as a 
measure of precaution, the Archbishop Ambrose 
ordered its immediate removal to the Chudov monastery, 
but the maddened people gathered in the Kremlin and 
threatened that they would not leave a stone of the 
monastery standing unless the ikon was at once restored. 
The Archbishop was forced to give way. The next 
day he was dragged by the mob from the Donskoi 
monastery where he was hiding and massacred by the 
enraged populace. This was on the 1 7th September : 
from that date the plague declined and the daily death- 
rate of 700 returned to the normal average with the 
advent of winter. 

Flanking the eastern wall of the Chudov Monastery 
are the buildings of the Convent of the Ascension 
( Vossnesenski), the entrance to which is from the large 
square of the Kremlin near the Redeemer Gate. 
There are some indications that this nunnery is of 
greater' antiquity than 1393, the date usually assigned 
its foundation. Eudoxia, the wife of Dmitri Donskoi, 
organised the institution, and, after taking the veil there, 
ordered that it was to be her place of sepulture also. 
The buildings were destroyed in 1483 ninety years 

R 257 

The Story of Moscow 

after their erection again in 1547, 1571, 1612, 1701, 
and last of all on the great fire of All Saints' Day, 
1737. Its successive rebuildings are due to the great 
veneration of the orthodox for the tombs of their 
ancestors, and from 1407 its cemetery ranked first as 
the place of sepulture for the consorts of the rulers of 
Muscovy ; some thirty-five were interred within its 
walls between 1407 and 1738. 

" It is said that when Eudoxia retired to the convent in 
1389, although she observed the appointed fasts rigorously and 
within the walls wore heavy weights and performed arduous 
penances, she still took great interest in the affairs of the outer 
world, and when visiting dressed in rich robes befitting her 
former state. This gave rise to much scandal, which she re- 
futed by exhibiting to her accusers the effects of her sell- 
imposed penances. When Tokhtamysh destroyed the building 
in 1393 she not only devoted herself to the task of founding 
a better community, but did so much work among the sick 
and indigent that she more than retrieved her character, being 
worshipped almost as a saint and canonised under her adopted 
name of Euphrosina, revered through many generations." 

The cells are mean, and the low plain facade not 
unlike those of English alms-houses of the eighteenth 
century. It was in this nunnery that Maria Mniszek 
was housed prior to her marriage with the false Dmitri, 
and here, too, that Maria Nagoi was forced to recognise 
the same impostor as her own murdered son. The 
Cathedral of the Ascension, like that of St Michael in 
the Chudov, is of a primitive type, preserving many of 
the characteristics of the original building erected by 
the Tsar Vasili Ivanovich in 1518; the five domes 
have not, however, the common bulbous cupolas, these 
resemble inverted cups an original type. The interior 
has the customary four pillars supporting the central 
dome ; there is an ikonostas with four tiers reaching 
to the arched roof. Of the sacred pictures the most 
remarkable are that of the Virgin and that of the 

The Convents and Monasteries 

Ascension ; there is also a curious one in the north 
chapel dedicated to Mary the Mother of the Afflicted. 

The tombs of the Grand Duchesses are arranged 
along the frescoed walls, north, west and south ; some 
are of the white stone used in the earliest buildings in 
Moscow, others of brick ; formerly the portraits of 
those interred were painted on the walls over their 
tombs, now many are covered with splendidly worked 
palls of native design. The remains of Eudoxia 
(St Euphrosina) are in a modern shrine of silver, 
replacing that taken by the French ; on the right, 
near the south wall, is the tomb of another Eudoxia 
(Shtrchnev), the wife of Mikhail Theodorovich ; then 
come the tombs of the Miloslavski and Naryshkin, 
wives of his son the Tsar Alexis, and the last tomb of 
all is that of another Eudoxia, the much tortured first 
wife of Peter the Great. Four of the six, or more, 
wives of Ivan the Terrible also lie here. In the sacristy 
among many rich relics are two exquisitely decorated 
copies of the gospels ; the enamel work and enrich- 
ment with gems is the most characteristic of the 
Russian art handicrafts. Not less excellent are the 
two golden processional crucifixes presented by the 
Tsar Michael. Such is the summer church of the 
convent, to which there is a grand ceremonial procession 
on Palm Sunday, and one on the second Sunday after 
Trinity to commemorate the great fire of 1737. 

The winter church, dedicated to St Michael, is the 
chapel of Honour of St Theodore of Persia and was built 
in the eighteenth century only. In addition to a much 
venerated ikon of the virgin, painted in 1739, there 
is preserved one of the greatest antiquities of Moscow 
a bas relief representing St George the Conqueror 
(Pobiedonostzev), the head uncovered, which originally 
was one of the decorations of the Redeemer Gate near 
by. It was transferred thence to the Church of St 


The Story of Moscow 

George, which was destroyed by the fire of 1737, a 
conflagration that threatened the convent also, but was 
stayed by the miraculous ikon of the Virgin of Kazan, 
now placed in the adjoining new church of St Catherine 
the Martyr. This is a modern building on the site 
of a fine old church of the seventeenth century, and 
of a Russified-Gothic style serves to show, from an 
artistic point of view, how disastrous is the attempt to 
combine native designs with those of the west. On 
the ground floor of the western range of buildings are 
the ovens, etc., where the Holy Bread is prepared, 
and the nuns of the convent are celebrated throughout 
Russia for the excellence of their work with the needle 
and brush, their copies of the ikons of these churches 
being in particular request. 

The monasteries outside the Kremlin have much the 
character of small fortified towns, and are the stronger 
and, architecturally, the more interesting the greater the 
distance at which they are situated from the town. To 
visit them, drive out to the Simonov four miles from 
the centre of the town and pass the Krutitski Vorot 
and the Novo Spasski ; the Spasso-Andronievski and 
the Pokrovski on the return. On the south side of 
the river to the Danilovski and the Donskoi ; to the 
west the Zachatievski and Novo Devichi. The others, 
of minor interest are : Monasteries of St Nicholas, 
Epiphany, Znamenski, Petrovski, Srietenka, and Alexis ; 
Convents : St Nikita, Rojdestvenka, and Strastnoi. 


St Sergius founded the monastery in 1370, but it 
was not moved to its present site on a hill commanding 
the Moskva until twenty years later. It educated 
St Jonah in the fifteenth century, and when he became 
Metropolitan it increased in importance, but was later 

The Convents and Monasteries 

surpassed by the Troitsa, and although it owned 1 2,000 
souls male serfs in the eighteenth century, it has 
never attained the leading position, nor even that 
expected of it. The present walls were built during 
the reign of Theodore I. but, finished in 1591, they 
could not keep out the Poles, who completely sacked 
the monastery in 1612. It is a fine, strong looking, 
dreamy old place, somewhat dilapidated and overgrown 
with verdure. The wall is half a mile long, com- 
manded by wonderful spire-like towers, some 
1 30 feet high, crowned with two-storeyed 
domed watch rooms, which 
look like huge dovecots. 
There is a covered rampart 
walk all round, and from the 
tower near the river, a sub- 
terranean passage to the L izin 
Prud, a holy well at one time 
much visited by the sick who 
had faith in its miraculous 
healing properties. Some 
six churches are within 
its walls, one the Cathe- 
dral of the Assumption, 
a massive building, con- 
secrated in 1405, and 
having a somewhat bi- 
zarre appearance, its 
faade, in the Byzantine 
style, being also painted in three colours to represent 
quadrangular facets. It is a building quite foreign to 
Muscovite style ; reminiscent rather of the old country 
churches of Portugal. The ikon of greatest celebrity 
is that of God the Father, richly decorated, and once, 
it is said, blessed by St Sergius, when it was carried with 
the troops of Dmitri against the Tartars under Mamai. 



'fbe Story of Moscow 

A Moscow merchant defrayed the cost of the great 
belfry, 330 feet high, and under the refectory is buried 
the renowned Field-Marshall Bruce ; the sacristy is 
rich in vestments and some ornamental work of the 
Tsar Alexis's Masterskaya in the Kremlin. The 
most famous inmate was Simeon Bekbulatov the con- 
verted Tsar of Kazan, whom Ivan Groznoi made Tsar 
of Moscow for twelve months ; his tomb will be shown. 
The charm of the Simonov is derived from its stillness, 
its out of the world air, its roominess, the matured trees, 
the ample orchard, the long rampart walk, the excellent 
views of Moscow, the many quaint nooks near the old 
stores, the grateful shade of pleasant bosquets and the 
orderly negligence that suggests contentment an ideal 
home for dreamers, for cheery mysticism and the 
inception of unhurried philosophies. 


The new monastery of the Saviour, so called 
because in the fifteenth century removed from the 
Kremlin to its present site, is pleasantly situated near 
the Moskva river not far from the Krasnoe Kholmski 
bridge. Its walls were of wood until the invasion of 
Devlet Ghiree, after which an attempt appears to have 
been made to turn all the outlying monasteries into 
fortresses for the better protection of Moscow. One 
peculiarity of the Spasski Monastyr is that the towers 
which flank the wall are all different, one is pentagonal, 
one round, one hexagonal, and so others vary some 
are squat, others have tapering spires from the towers ; 
the belfry is 220 feet high. Its claim to greatness is 
not due to the spirited defence it made to the Polish 
attack, but to the fact that within its Cathedral of the 
Transfiguration, one of the five churches within the 
walls, is a picture " Neruko-tvorenni," not made with 

The Convents and Monasteries 

hands. "In the year 1645, in the town of Khlinov, 
in the porch of the Church of the Trinity, before the 
image of our Saviour not made with hands, Peter 
Palkin, blind three years, stood and worshipped and 
miraculously received his sight." The Tsar Alexis 
ordered the picture to be brought to Moscow for the 
Spasski Monastery, and a copy of it to be sent to 
Khlinov, or Viatka. The church is also adorned with 
a set of fresco portraits illustrating the genealogy of 
the Tsars of Moscow, from Olga to Alexis : corre- 
sponding therewith, the portraits of the Kings of Israel. 
Behind the ikonostas are some extraordinary mural 
paintings of the Tsars Michael and Alexis, founders 
of the cathedral. The Church of the Protection, to 
the south of the cathedral, was built in 1673 to the 
memory of the Patriarch Philaret, and a third church, 
near the cells of the monks, was built in 1652 by 
Nicholas Cherkassky, to whose family Moscow owes 
several fine churches. The monastery was the 
favourite burying place of such noble Moscow families 
as the Yaroslavskis, Gagarins, Sherbatevs, Naryshkins 
and Romanofs, whose ancestors are mostly interred in 
a crypt here, the last being Vasili Yurivich Zakharin. 
The monastery of St Andronievski was founded by 
St Alexis the metropolitan who made a vow, when in 
a storm at sea during his voyage to Constantinople. The 
relics of St Andronie are preserved in a silver shrine. 
All these monasteries were pillaged and profaned by 
the French, the Andronievski suffered perhaps more 
than the others since there some monks were shot. 


This monastery is in no way connected with Dmitri Donskoi 
but owes its name to a picture of the Virgin Mary, presented 
by the Don Cossacks (Kazak = soldier) after the great victory 
over Khazi-Ghiree and his army of 150,000 Mongols advancing 
against Moscow in 1591 ; they were repulsed by the army 


raised by Boris Godunov and the miraculous intervention of 
the ikon of the Cossacks, and the grateful Theodore built the 
monastery on the field of their defeat as a fit shrine for the 
ikon, which had been set up as the standard of the defenders of 
Moscow. A church pageant on August I9th (old style) 
commemorates the victory. The white walls and red turrets 
are copied from those of the Novo Devichi. The principal 
church was founded in 1684 by Catherine, daughter of the 
Tsar Alexis, and differs from those of Moscow town in being 
of red brick. The smaller Church of the Virgin is the older, 
founded in 1592.; the three others are of the eighteenth 

The Cossacks were the means of enriching the 
church by recovering the silver looted by the French. 
The decorations are for the most part quite modern, 
and the paintings by an Italian. The cemetery has 
fine monuments, and there the people resort on summer 
evenings for the shade of the trees and restfulness of 
this peaceful retreat. Further along the Kalujskaya is 
the Alexandrina Palace, formerly the property of the 
Orloffs, with its celebrated pleasaunce " sans sougi," 
extending to the wooded bank of the Moskva, with 
pretty views of Moscow and one excellent one of the 
Church of the Saviour seen alone at the extremity of 
a fine avenue of great trees. 


This has the advantage of being the oldest establishment of 
its kind in Moscow. Founded in the Kremlin by Daniel in 
1272, it was transferred in 1330, and in the reign of Ivan IV. 
rebuilt on its present site. The walls are less ornate than those 
of the other fortifications of their time; the machecoules with 
superposed loop-holes over the gun-ports are also unusual and 
the polygonal corner towers have greater symmetry than those 
of Simonov or Novo Spasski. The chief object of interest 
within the building is the silver shrine of the founder placed 
in the church by the Tsar Alexis in 1652. The other two 
churches are commonplace, but in the cemetery is the tomb 
of Gogol, one of the most original of Muscovite authors. 

The Zamoskvoretski quarter, south of the river, 

The Convents and Monasteries 

was in mediasval times little better than a swamp and 
long uninhabited. The Mongols settled there later, 
and Tartar names indicate some streets, as Balchoog, 
" quagmire," and Bolotnaia, " swamps ; " as late as the 
reign of the Great Catherine, the Island where is now 
the Babygorodskaia (little town) was open waste land, 
and there the rebel impostor Pugatchev, brought to 
Moscow in an iron cage, was beheaded in 1773. A 
raised road Krimski-val, above the fen-land leads from 
the Donskoi Monastyr to the Krimski Most, the tubular 
bridge over the river near the Ostogenka. It obtained 
its name from the fact that the Krim Tartars in their 
attacks on Moscow always crossed the river at that 
point, and it is still better known as Krimski Erode or 


West of the Krimski Most, where the river makes 
a wide sweep and on three side bounds a large tract 
of low lying land, is the Maidens' Field, which tradition 
asserts is the locality of the market at which the 
Tartars in old times purchased Muscovite girls for 
the Mohammedan harems in Constantinople and 
Ispahan. Historians contend that the name is derived 
from the convent established there since 1525. There 
is no doubt that this was established in the early years of 
the sixteenth century to commemorate the recapture of 
Smolensk by Vasili III. It is also indisputable that 
there were already convents existing within Moscow 
and that Novo Devichi Monastyr means simply New 
Monastery for Women. Helen, "the maid," was the 
first abbess of this, and may have given it the name, 
but it was customary in Moscow, before and since, 
to name the convents after the dedication, as Conception, 
Nativity, Passion, etc., so some earlier use of the popular 
appellation " Maidens' Field " is more probable. 


The Story of Moscow 

The convent is two miles distant from the Kremlin, but 
also on the river bank, though a tank serving as a moat 
actually separates it from the present raised embankment of 
the Moskva. The walls were built by the same Italians who 
completed the walls of the Kremlin, and are of the same type, 
but round and square towers alternate and both have some of the 
heavy florid decoration so common in Moscow. The single 
and double dropped-arch is most conspicuous, and the 
quaintness of the architecture is accentuated by the glaring 
disparity of the colouring dead white for the walls and 
interior of the open turrets, dark Indian red for the tops of 
the towers and masonry above the corbels of the machecoules. 
The belfry is of five lofty stages en retraite surmounted with a 
gilded bulbous dome and immense cross ; its colours are pink 
and white with neutral facings ; yellow, green, rose-pink picked 
out with white or darker tints are used for the other churches ; 
that over the gateway being white with green roof, and both 
green and blue are used lavishly elsewhere for the roofs of the 
buildings within the enclosure, which together with the gold 
on domes and crosses, gives to the convent-fortress a beauty 
that is wholly eastern. 

The two churches Vasili founded have been preserved and 
others added. They are 

Church of the Assumption, with a chapel dedicated to the 
Holy Ghost. 

Church of St Ambrose, of Milan. 

Church of The Transfiguration of the Virgin. 

Church of The Protection of the Virgin. 

Chapel of SS. Balaam and Jehosaphat, beneath the belfry. 

Church of St James the Apostle, founded in gratitude of the 
preservation of the monastery on St James's day i8i. 

The cathedral church with chapels to the Archangel 
Michael ; to SS. Prokhor and Nikanor ; to St Sophia and the 
sister graces, Vera, Nadejda, and Lubov (Faith, Hope and 
Charity). Here the daughters of Alexis Mikhailovich are buried, 
as also Eudoxia (Helena), first wife of Peter I. On the ikonostas 
is a very early copy of the Iberian Mother of God, before that 
ikon was taken to Smolensk in 1456. 

Its history is unimportant. Julia the wife of its founder was 
forced to take the veil here in 1563 when Vasili intended to 
marry Helena Glinski ; Boris G'odunov and his sister Irene 
lived within it during the six weeks following upon the death 
of Theodore I. Notwithstanding its apparent strength, 
during the times of trouble Vasili Shoviski after various 
struggles to retain it, was forced to give it up to the invading 



The Convents and Monasteries 

Poles. Peter the Great imprisoned his sister Sophia within 
its walls, and executed many of the streltsi before her windows 
that their agony might awe her bold spirit. Some years after 
he made it a foundling hospital, and 250 infants were housed 
there before the Hospitalrie Dom was built ; it was abolished 
in 1725. Napoleon visited it in 1812 and at first it suffered 
little ; the King of Naples ordering divine service to be cele- 
brated daily as usual, but later Davoust was billeted there, and 
after the disaster the French before quitting it did their 
utmost to blow up the belfry, the cathedral and stores. The 
nuns at considerable risk interrupted the fired train and, by 
their intrepidity and subsequent perseverance in combating 
the fire, saved the convent from destruction. 

Russian monasteries and convents are not rigorously closed 
to the public like those of the Roman church. Generally from 
sunrise to sunset the great gates stand open that all may enter 
who desire to do so ; and the nuns, so far from being secluded 
from the world, are rather encouraged to go out into it, both 
on errands of charity and, at need, to supplement by their own 
handicraft a too scanty income. For the most part the cells 
are shared in common by three inmates who unite their daily 
rations of tea, salt, and black-bread, and whilst the infirm 
sisters busy themselves in copying ikons or producing lace, 
needle-work and the like, the more active go into the town to 
dispose of the produce. In convents as elsewhere the Russian 
rule holds good that one's room is inviolate : strictly private 
if the inmates wish, yet open to whomsoever it is their pleasure 
to entertain. 


Moscow of the English 

" O, how glad was I that the Tsar took notice of those few 
Englishmen." HORSEY. 

XAOSCOW still bears witness to the thoroughness of 
English handicraft just as it shows the unmistak- 
able impress of the French heel. When the discovery 
of the new world by Columbus had awakened England 
to enterprise and adventure, among the expeditions fitted 
out to find new markets for English manufactures was 
one of three ships sent on the advice of Sebastian Cabot, 
to the Arctic seas in i 553. Sir Hugh Willoughby was 
in command ; Richard Chancellor, a young protege 
of Sir Henry Sydney, his able lieutenant, and King 
Edward VI. himself the patron. The merchant ven- 
turers each found i 5 for the undertaking ; ^6000 
in all was subscribed ; two Tartars in the King's stable 
were interrogated as to that land on " the East of the 
Globe," but they answered nothing at all that was in 
point. Three ships sailed from Rudcliff Harbour on 
the zoth May, but a few days later a storm separated 
them. Chancellor sailed on, and notwithstanding " the 
counsel of three friendly Scotchmen " to proceed no 
further, he reached the White Sea where he awaited 
the coming of his chief. Sighting a smack he got the 
men on board ; they at once fell prostrate to kiss his 
feet but he himself raised them, " an act of humanity 
that won for him much goodwill." The natives dared 

Moscow of the English 

not trade without leave of their prince, and in some 
six weeks an invitation was given Chancellor to proceed 
from Kholmogori (Archangel) to Moscow. There 
he was sumptuously entertained. Furnished with a 
reply to King Edward's letter and permission to trade, 
he returned to London. In April 1555, Chancellor 
was again sent to Moscow ; the Tsar in the meanwhile 
had found the remains of Sir Hugh Willoughby's other 
two ships, the crews of which had been starved to death. 
The result of this second voyage was the establishment 
of the Russia Company at Kholmogori and Moscow, and 
the visit of a Russian envoy to the Court of St James's. 
Ill-luck attended the return voyage; Chancellor, his 
son and seven Russians, were drowned when their ship 
was wrecked, near Kinnaird Head. 

The English were not deterred by untoward events, 
and pressed trade briskly. They had to deal with a 
sovereign whose methods were detestable and whose 
aim was a political and matrimonial alliance with the 
Tudors, not commercial intercourse with the English 
people ; the Tsar was foiled, and the English traders 
succeeded. No doubt the venturers were misled by 
the too glowing reports of their servants, who represented 
Russia as a new Indies. Wondrous were the stories 
they gave of the country and its inhabitants ; of the 
immense wealth of the Tsar ; of the strange animals 
that roamed in the forests. Of these last one was the 
" Rossmachia," which devoured food so ravenously 
that it had to pass between great growing trees in order 
to reduce its distended stomach an animal not identi- 
fied ; another was the Ass-camel, having the attributes 
of both these beasts, which was so far believed in as 
to figure in the arms of the Eastland Company and is 
thought to be the yak. To these early voyagers, 
earnest and austere in their new-found protestantism, 
the religion of the Muscovites seemed idolatrous, and 


The Story of Moscow 

to their prejudiced writings, reproduced by generation 
after generation, many of the still current misconcep- 
tions concerning the Eastern Church are due. 

The Governors of the Russia Company were hard- 
headed, bargain-driving tradesmen, with no soul for 
empire or an attempt had been made by them to conquer 
and annex Russia for their sovereign and their country. 
Profitable trade was their one aim and the extravagances 
of their servants and apprentices their increasing lament. 
Many were the complaints, piteous the explanations ; 
anger on the part of the employer, indignation and 
desertion on the part of the unlucky apprentices. 

Ivan did not pay for the goods he had, or his chan- 
cellor would not ; none dared trade but by his leave ; 
his subjects feared to buy the merchants' goods lest their 
sovereign might still require them for himself. The 
governors paid no heed to the customs of the country 
or the needs of their apprentices foundlings and 
charity reared orphans no furs were to be worn ; 
the ells of cloth allowed annually were in no case to be 
exceeded, and the use of horses forbidden ; " if it be 
against the manner of that countrie we will make it the 
manner rather than forbear our money with losse to 
clothe them otherwise, or maintain them to ride when 
we go afoot. Let the horses and mares be sold." 

So ordered the governors their full-powered servant 
Anthony Jenkinson, who was further commanded to 
" reduce our stipendiaries to a better order in apparel ; 
forbid them riding, for such excessiveness corrupteth 
all good natures, bringeth obloquy to our nation and 
also loss to ourselves." " Item 34 " of this long com- 
mand is " no dogs, bears, or superfluous burdens to be 
kept ; no bond-men or women to wait upon them." 
" Item 39, they shall pay for their apparel not at cost 
price but at the selling price in Russia." Among 
other things the unfortunate ill-clad apprentice bore in 

Moscow of the English 

the frozen north during arctic winter was punishment 
for the company's misdoings, but the governors, 
" doubt that Alcock's death proceeded from asking for 
payment of our debts, as Edwardes writes, but that 
he either quareled inadvisedly or else constrained the 
people touching their religion, laws, or manners, being 
given wisdom wolde to mislike and mock other 
strangers." No wonder the English left the factory 
and tried to make a living for themselves, but withal 
there were many of the right grit among them, to wit, 
Anthony Jenkinson who passed through Moscow in 
1558 determined upon finding a way to the Indies by 
the Caspian. This intrepid adventurer reached Ispahan 
with the goods of the Russia company and returned 
burdened with rich barter and precious gifts. Later 
he fitted out a fleet on the Caspian and made war on 
the Turcomans with some success, an undertaking the 
difficulties of which can scarcely be estimated seeing 
that he could communicate with England only by 
way of Archangel, a port closed by ice for one half 
of the year. Jenkinson had not only to contend with 
pirates on the Volga, but was warned that the Danes 
might attempt to seize his ships, Primrose, 240 tons ; 
John Evangelist, 170; Anne, 1 60 ; Trinttie, 140; 
as they passed the wardhouse (Vardso) "where be 
enemies that do mislike the newe found trade by seas 
to Russia." Sigismund II., King of Poland, tried his 
utmost to stop the traffic, " sending messengers with 
pretended letters of thanks to English merchants in 
order to make the Tsar, Ivan, suspicious of them. 

He fitted out ships in Dantzig to capture English 
ships bound for the Narva, and threatened Elizabeth that 
loss of liberty, life, wives and children awaited those 
who should carry wares and weapons to the Muscovite 
who was not only the enemy of the King of Poland 
but the hereditary foe of all free nations." Among 
s 273 

7" he Story of Moscow 

other of the company's servants who distinguished 
themselves were Southam and Spark who discovered 
the water-way from the White Sea to Novgorod, and 
so got goods thither without such risk as was run 
from Russia's enemies on the Baltic when sent by 
Narva. The Flemings and Germans were jealous of 
the new traders and made many misrepresentations 
concerning both persons and goods. They themselves 
furnished an inferior staple, but the simple people were 
made to prefer it to English cloth which, as it would 
not shrink as theirs did, could not be new. 

Jerom Horsey was an apprentice or underling of the 
Russia company at Moscow ; he attracted the Tsar's 
attention by his expert horsemanship and his wit when 
the Tsar questioned him respecting the Russian ships 
building at Vologda for the Caspian. Horsey answered 
that with others he had admired their " strange fashion." 
Ivan would know what he meant by this description. 
" I mean that the figure heads of lions, dragons, eagles, 
elephants and unicorns were so skilfully, so richly 
adorned with gold and silver, and painted in bright 
colours." " A crafty youth to commend the work 
of his own countrymen," remarked Ivan, and then 
asked about the English Fleet, but was displeased 
when Horsey described the Queen's flag as " one 
before which all nations bow." These traders were 
not the only British in Moscow, others were brought 
as prisoners by Ivan on his return from the devastation 
of Novgorod. 

" At which time, among other nations, there were four score 
and five poor Scotch soldiers left of 700 sent from Stockholm, 
and three Englishmen in their company brought many other 
captives, in most miserable manner, piteous to behold. I 
laboured and employed my best endeavours and credit not 
only to succour them but with my purse, and pains, and means 
got them to be well placed at Bulvan near the Moskva. And 
although the Tsar was much inflamed with fury and wrath 


Moscow of the English 

against them, torturing and putting many of these Swede 
soldiers to death most lamentable to behold I procured the 
Tsar to be told of the difference between these Scots, now his 
captives, and the Swedes, Poles and Lithuanins his enemies. 
That they were of a nation of strangers ; remote ; a venturous 
and warlike people, ready to serve any Christian prince for 
maintenance and pay, as they would appear and prove, if it 
pleased His Majesty to employ and spare them such mainten- 
ance. They were out of heart ; no clothes ; no arms ; but 
would show themselves of valour even against his mortal 
enemy the Tartar. It seems some use was made of this advice 
for shortly the best soldiers were put apart and captains of 
each nation appointed to govern the rest. Jeamy Lingett for 
the Scottish men, a valiant, honest man. Money, clothes, 
and daily allowance for meat and drink was given them ; 
horses, hay and oats ; swords, piece and pistols were they 
armed with poor snakes before, looke now cheerfully. Twelve 
hundred of them did better service against the Tartar than 
twelve thousand Russians with their short bows and arrows. 
The Krim-Tartars, not knowing then the use of muskets 
and pistols, struck dead on their horses with shot they saw 
not, cried : ' Awaye with those new devils that come with 
their thundering puffs,' whereat the Tsar made good sport. 
Then had they pensions and lands allowed them to live upon ; 
matched and married with the fair women of Livonia ; in- 
creased into families, and live in favour of the prince and 
people. " Horsey. 

Unhappily their good treatment was not long con- 
tinued. Soon Ivan set a thousand of his opritchniks 
"to rob and spoil them," and their sufferings were 
terrible. Some escaped into the English House, and 
were clad and relieved there, " but," says Horsey, " we 
were in danger of great displeasure in so doing." But 
Horsey, a man of wide sympathies, did not confine 
his aid to men of his own country ; he was instrumental 
in saving many other of the captives of Ivan's wars in 
the west, who were quartered in a special suburb, the 
nemetski sloboda, " by my mediation and means, being 
then familiar and conversant in the Court, well known 
and respected of the best favourites and officers at that 

2 75 

The Story of Moscow 

time, T procured liberty to build them a church, and 
contributed well thereunto ; got unto them a learned 
preaching minister, and divine service and meeting of 
the congregation every Sabath day, but after their 
Lutheran profession." These people " soon grew in 
good liking " of the Muscovite citizens, " living civilly, 
but in doleful mourning manner for their evil loss of 
goods, friends, and country." Horsey was the man 
chosen by Ivan to take a private message to Queen 
Elizabeth in answer to the important communication 
she had sent him by Anthony Jenkinson. The Tsar 
provided him with horses, and a guard as far as the 
confines of his territory, but " forbear to tell you all 
the secrets entrusted to you, lest you should fall into 
my enemy's power and be forced to betray them, 
but you will give to the Queen, my loving sister, the 
contents of this bottle," and the Tsar himself secreted 
a small wooden spirit-flask among the trappings of the 
young rider's horse. 

Horsey had engaged upon a daring undertaking, and 
had an adventurous journey. It was winter ; Russia 
was beset by Ivan's enemies, who hated the English 
for the help given the Muscovite ruler. As soon as he 
crossed the border he feigned to be a refugee, but was 
taken as a spy and cast into prison. The governor of 
the castle, hearing that he came from Moscow, would 
learn some news of his daughter, who had been carried 
away a captive by Ivan's troops. She was among 
those whom Horsey had helped to settle in the Sloboda, 
and he gave so good an account of her, that the grate- 
ful jailer liberated him and helped him forward on his 
long journey. When he passed through the Nether- 
lands the merchants gave a banquet in his honour and, 
for favours he had rendered the foreigners in Moscow, 
presented him with a silver bowl full of ducats. 
Horsey returned the ducats, as he says, " not without 

Moscow of the English 

afterwards repenting of this," but kept the bowl to 
remind him of their good will. He reached England, 
and was received by the Queen and indicted by the 
sordid governors of the Russia company, who made a 
number of trivial and baseless charges. He returned 
to Russia more than once, got the extravagant demands 
of the company conceded, some thousands of roubles 
were " preened from the shins of Shalkan, the 
Chancellor," and after living through the " troublous 
times " he finally settled in England ; was married, 
knighted, and lived far into the seventeenth century. 

Probably his " good friends " at court were Nikita 
Romanof, grandfather of the first elected Tsar, and Boris 
Godunov with whom Horsey was always on excellent 
terms. Ivan sent a couple of hundred of his opritch- 
niks to pillage the house of his father-in-law Nikita 
Romanof, and the English then sheltered the family 
in their house close by, and supplied them with food 
and stuffs "for they had been stripped of all they 
possessed." In its turn the English House suffered ; 
it was burned by the Tartars in 1591, and the inmates 
huddled in the cellar for days, lost Spark, the explorer, 
Carver, the first apothecary in Moscow, and others, 
but the survivors rushed out during a lull in the con- 
flagration and made their way through the smoke and 
flames to the Kremlin, where they were helped over 
the wall. In 1 6 1 1 it was again destroyed by fire, in 
the struggle between Pojarski and the Poles, and 
finally destroyed during the French invasion. Its 
site is now occupied by the Siberian Podvor, in the 
Varvarka. It was not rebuilt, but a plot of land be- 
tween the Broosovski and Chernichefski Pereuloks 
the streets that connect the Tverskaya and Nikitskaya 
behind the Governor-General's residence was granted 
the colony by Alexander I., and there a new English 
church, parsonage and library have been erected. 


The Story of Moscow 

The early settlers were chiefly traders, but they also 
coined silver money and made weapons ; it was usual 
for the Tsar to honour the house by a ceremonial call 
early in the new year, and towards the autumn, the 
Tsar and Court accompanied the merchants the first 
stage of their homeward journey towards Archangel, 
and gave them a parting feast and toast at a picnic in 
the forest a custom observed by Peter I. until he 
founded St Petersburgh. Their status was, and is, 
that of foreign guests, and they were subject to the 
common law and custom. William Barnsley of 
Worcester appears to have been the first Englishman 
exiled to Siberia. Ivan the Terrible thought him too 
familiar in his behaviour towards the Tsaritsa, so 
banished him, but he returned after twenty-six years, 
hale and very wealthy. Giles Fletcher, father of 
Phineas Fletcher, the poet, obtained an undertaking 
that Englishmen should not be put to the torture or put 
on the put-key whipping block before condemnation. 
His own book on Muscovy was promptly suppressed 
on the petition of the Russia Company, whose members 
so far from supporting the rights of their countrymen, 
were not altogether displeased that an escaped apprentice 
or other roving Englishman if not roasted, " yet 
were scorched." Peter the Great put to death the 
beautiful Miss Hamilton, a lady of honour to his wife 
Eudoxia and nearly related to his own mother's foster- 
parents, but he is said to have accompanied her to the 
scaffold and picked up the head as it dropped from the 
block and pressed his lips to hers. 

There were Englishwomen in Moscow in the sixteenth 
century, for, apart from the anecdote respecting Ivan's 
treatment of them, Jane Richard, the widow of his 
physician, the notorious Dr Bomel, was sent back to 
England in 1583, and in 1602 John Frenchman 
founded the Apteka in Moscow in 1586, and returned 

Moscow of the English 

to Moscow with his wife and family in 1 602. From 
the complaints of the Russia Company of their young 


employees, it would appear that married men were sent 
out, " as also a Divine to exhort the single to righteous 
conduct," quite early in its history. From these people 
who lived apart from the citizens and enjoyed certain 


The Story of Moscow 

privileges, the Russians derived new ideas as to 
woman's place in the household, and many families 
adopted the foreign customs long before Peter " com- 
manded " that the terems should be thrown open and 
the example of the Court followed by all. 

The visible memorials of the early English settlers 
in Moscow may be found about the Kremlin in such 
works as the great central tower, Ivan Veliki, built by 
John Villiers, the beautiful Church of St Catherine 
that behind the Golden Gate (v. p. 161) accredited 
to John Taylor ; and, still more characteristic, those 
Gothic towers which rise so majestically above the 
Troitski and Spasski Gates. In them the influence of 
the east is scarcely to be discovered, even such use as 
is made of the ogival arch being quite as native to the 
Gothic of the later period as to the Russian architecture, 
whilst those forms of decoration common to Moscow 
prior to, and during, the seventeenth century are as 
completely ignored as the designs of the Italian builders 
of the wall these Gothic towers crown. In the view 
illustrated the belfry tower of the Church of St 
Catherine also figures, in not unpleasing contrast with 
the more severe, and beautiful, but commoner architecture 
adopted by Galloway. 

Foreign craftsmen flocked to Moscow during the 
glorious reign of Alexis, and the Russia Company 
prospered, but the English settlers received a temporary 
check when the quarrel rose between King and Parlia- 
ment. Alexis, in gratitude for favours shown his 
ancestors by the English, sent Charles grain and furs, 
and banished those who declared for the Common- 
wealth. He annulled the charter of the Russia 
Company when Cromwell succeeded, and would have 
no intercourse with the Protector. In this, as in most 
matters, Cromwell ultimately obtained his own way. 
The difficulty was smoothed away by Cromwell's 

Moscow of the English 

roaming ambassador, the able Bradshaw, who did not 
even need to visit Russia to accomplish so little. 
Trade was re-opened, and later Alexis corresponded 
with the great Englishman. During the reign of 
Peter all foreign residents, not military leaders, were 
oppressed their wages were withheld that they might 
not escape the country and agreements and contracts 
disregarded, but there was no open enmity between the 
races save for a short time subsequent to the seizure of 
Malta, which act greatly embittered the Emperor Paul 
against the English. The Marquess of Carmarthen 
obtained a tobacco monopoly from Peter the Great, 
who on his return to Moscow now punished as severely 
those of his subjects who would not acquire the habit 
as he had previously done those who indulged it. But 
he disregarded the provisions of the contract and the 
result was that Queen Anne's representative at Moscow 
was instructed to send home the workmen and secretly 
destroy all the material and machines in the factory at 
Moscow. The envoy and his secretary "spent long hours 
and nights " in accomplishing this service with their 
own hands probably the last actual direct interference 
of the British Crown with matters commercial and 
industrial, for it failed of its ultimate purpose, and 
brought disaster. 

Scotch soldiers of fortune found their opportunities 
in Russia, and made the most of them. One of the 
best known among them is the sturdy Patrick Gordon, 
who entered the Swedish service under the grand- 
father of Charles XII. ; was captured by the Poles 
and served them until taken prisoner by Alexis. The 
Tsar had heard that Gordon had taken pity upon 
Russian captives in Warsaw, and at his own cost fed 
them, so sent for him that he might thank him 
personally for the " favours shown to the poor captives 
in Warsaw," whereupon Gordon offered his sword to 


The Story of Moscow 

Moscow, and served faithfully. One Alexander 
Gordon, who claimed cousinship, found his way to 
Moscow, and was made an officer by Peter " for that 
he, single handed, thrashed seven Russian officers who 
had insulted him." He also married a daughter of 
Patrick Gordon, and wrote the best contemporary 
biography of Peter I. Crawford helped the Gordons 
to form a regiment of regular soldiers, and Field- 
Marshal Bruce with Gordon rendered such valuable 
services, that Peter instituted the Order of St Andrew, 
for distinguished military services, and these Scotchmen 
were the first to be decorated. 

After the peace of Tilsit Napoleon wished Alexander 
to banish or imprison the English in Russia, but the 
Tsar answered, " Their ancestors have been here during 
past centuries and I shall not treat my old friends so 
ill as to consider them enemies ; if they choose to 
remain in Russia none shall molest them." They 
suffered during the French occupation of Moscow ; 
their Church was burned, and the residence of their 
pastor as well as their own warehouses and dwellings. 
It is said that one Englishman, more astute than most, 
buried his treasure and a little less deep interred the 
body of a French soldier. The marauders seeing the 
newly-turned earth dug until they reached the body of 
their comrade, but sought no further, and the next 
year the Englishman removed his treasure intact. 
During the Crimean war, the only inconvenience the 
English residents suffered was the loss of trade. 
The police doubted whether it was lawful for the 
community to offer up prayers for the defeat of the 
Russians the Queen's enemies and the matter was 
referred to the Emperor Nicholas, who answered that 
the English were "to be allowed to pray for whom- 
soever and whatsoever they pleased." From the 
English settlers have descended men who have disfin- 

Moscow of the English 

guished themselves, as amongst poets, Lermontof (Lear- 
month) ; amongst diplomats, Count Balmaine (Ramsay 
of Balmaine) and Prince Menzikov (Menzies) ; among 
soldiers, Barclay de Tolly (from a Scotch Protestant 
refugee) and Skobelev (Scobie) ; amongst architects, 
Sherwood, designer of the Historical Museum, and 
Parland, architect of the Memorial Cathedral, St 
Petersburg, and in other walks of life, others the 
equals of these. The colonists have but one policy 
to support the Government and do not fuse freely 
with the Slavs. Some still cling tenaciously to the 
nationality of their ancestors, whilst in dress, language, 
manners and aspirations indistinguishable from those 
Russians of the class with whom they associate. 
Pathetic figures some ; reluctant to relinquish the pass- 
port that alone links them with the land of their 
fathers, looked at askant by the Britons newly out, 
a nuisance to diplomatists, and a puzzle to the 


The French Invasion ana after 

" Now, Robber ! look what thou hast done : 
Come, for the strife prepare thee. 
This land we fight on is our own 
And God's revenge is near thee ! 


XJOT unfrequently Russia has been treated by the 
powers of western Europe with less consideration 
for justice than they have observed in their dealings 
with each other, but on no occasion has a civilised 
country more grossly outraged the sense of right than 
did France by its memorable campaign of 1812. It 
is possible that Napoleon still felt piqued because his 
offer to enter the Russian army had been declined by 
Zaborovski in i 789 a rejection which the old general 
had many times keenly regretted long before 1812 
and it may be that Napoleon resented his refusal by 
the Princess Katerina, and was disgusted that the 
hand of the Princess Anna, which he had subsequently 
sought in marriage, had been bestowed in preference 
upon a German princelet. It is idle to suppose that 
technical breaches of the treaty of Tilsit by Russia 
who was unable to stop commercial relations with 
England were anything more than a mere pretext 
for the war. Like the wolf in the fable who had 
determined to devour the lamb that had disturbed 
the lower waters of the stream, any excuse served 

The French Invasion and after 

this wickedly ambitious upstart to gratify his lust for 
further spoils and military glory. Doubtless Napoleon 
before whom Latin and Teutonic kings bowed low 
and their subjects trembled when he but feigned to 
unsheath his sword expected that the formidable 
preparations he made for war would awe Russia into 
submission, and thus gratify his vanity : but Russia 
heeded his bluster as little as did England, so, with 
the eyes of Europe upon him, he had no option but 
to drink up the liquor he had uncorked. Russia 
doubted his seriousness, but regarded the inevitable 
with equanimity. It seemed improbable that France, 
after centuries of enlightenment and progress, with its 
professed love of philosophy, art and culture, should 
raid Russia for pelf just as Tartars, Kalmucks, and 
hordes of rough unlettered barbarians out of Asia had 
done in ages past. If it were so to be, Russia doubted 
not but she could triumph over the forces of the west 
even as she had done over those of the east. 

On the loth June 1812 the French army crossed 
the Niemen unopposed, and five days later occupied 
Vilna, where Napoleon expected attack, but, unmolested 
for eighteen days, moved on towards Vitebsk. The 
Russian army, commanded by Barclay de Tolly, did 
nothing more than cause the invaders to manoeuvre 
unceasingly, and advance further into the country. 
On the banks of the Dvina Napoleon thought to end 
the campaign of 1 8 i 2 ; recuperate his army and march 
against Moscow the following spring ; but as yet no 
action had been fought, so he again hurried on after 
the Russians, this time towards Smolensk. 

It is held that the withdrawal of the Russians dis- 
concerted Napoleon ; but he had already met other 
armies than the English, so to him this retreat of his 
enemy was not new. He expected to come up with 
the Russians at Smolensk, but Barclay de Tolly, 


although assuring the inhabitants of their safety, sent 
away the treasure and had determined to abandon the 
town. It was garrisoned by but one regiment when 
Neverovski fell back upon it after his engagement with 
the French at Krasnoe. Raevski, sent to his aid, 
entrenched his troops and determined to hold the town 
until the two armies under Tolly and Bagrateon, then 
encamped on the left bank of the Dnieper, should arrive. 
But they fell further back instead of advancing, and 
after one day's fighting, with terrible loss, the Russians 
evacuated after setting fire to the town. Napoleon 
remained there four days, then followed the Russians 
towards Moscow. Notwithstanding his proclamations 
of amity towards the peasants, his promises of freedom 
for the serfs, the people began to realise that the march 
of the Grande Armee was as disastrous as an incursion 
of the Tartar Horde. The country was devastated ; 
the houses were pillaged ; the owners shot ; churches 
deserted ; horses stabled in the sacred places ; holy 
ikons burnt ; matrons and maidens ravished by these 
heroes of the " twenty nations " of the west. Resistance 
there must be and the villagers took up arms ; Kutuzov 
took chief command of the army, but Barclay de Tolly 
still gave his advice, and General Sir Robert Wilson 
remained tactical counsellor. On August 24th (old 
style) the Russians gave battle on the banks of the 
Moskva, near Borodino. In this "battle of the 
generals" about 120,000 men were engaged on each 
side, and 80,000 were killed, among them 18 generals 
and i 5 other officers of high rank in the French army ; 
and 22 commanding officers on the Russian side. 
Over 50,000 corpses and 30,000 dead horses were 
found in the field of battle, and though the Russians 
retreated, the French halted five days, then they moved 
forward upon Moscow, being nearly starved and quite 
tired of the war. Kutuzov had then to decide whether 

The French Invasion and after 

or not to risk another battle in an attempt to save 

At the Council of War, held at Fili, Barclay de Tolly said 
that when it was a matter of the salvation of Russia, Moscow 
was only a city like any other. Other generals, like Grabbe, 
declared that although it would be glorious to die before 
Moscow, the question they had to decide was not what would 
add to their glory, but to the defeat of the enemy. Prince 
Eugen of Wurtemburg held that honour ought to be placed 
before all, and that Moscow ought to become the tomb of 
every true Russian, all should choose death rather than flight. 
Wilson, whose object was rather the defeat of Napoleon than 
the preservation of Russia, said Moscow, to them, must be only 
a city, " like any other." Ermolev. Ostermann, Beningsen 
and others were in favour of a last battle. " Amid such diverse 
counsel," said Kutuzov, " my head, be it good or bad, must 
decide for itself," and he ordered a retreat through the town, 
but he himself would not enter it, and wept as he hurriedly 
passed the suburbs. 

During the first decade of the eighteenth century 
there were joyous days in Moscow; in 1801 Alex- 
ander was crowned; in 1803 he revisited the town 
when there were public rejoicings for the victories 
over the Turks; when in 1812, after the outbreak of 
hostilities Alexander came to Moscow, the patriotic 
citizens promised to raise 80,000 men in that district 
and equip them. The Tsar returned to St Petersburg 
and appointed Count Rostopchin governor ; a clever 
man, courtier, wit, cynic, he proved an able adminis- 
trator, possessed the gift of inciting and controlling the 
uneducated masses, so his plan to destroy the city 
escaped opposition from the inhabitants. 

Rostopchin studied the peasants' ways and knew how to 
throw dust in the eyes of all. " I do everything to gain the 
goodwill of everybody. My two visits to the Iberian Mother 
of God, the freedom of access I allow to all, the verification of 
weights and measures, even the fifty blows with a stick to a 
sub-officer who made the mujiks wait too long for their salt, 
have won me the confidence of your devoted and faithful 


The Story of Moscow 

subjects. I resolved at any disagreeable news to question its 
truth ; by this means I weaken the first impression and before 
there is time to verify it, other news will come which will 
need to be attended to." The Government mistrusted the 
people, most of whom are serfs, and might allow themselves 
to be tempted by the proclamations of " freedom for all " which 
were issued by Napoleon. Rostopchin gave the patriot 
Glinka 300,000 roubles to be used as would best serve the 
interests of Moscow, but Glinka returned the money, for all 
were ready enough to resist the invader. Rostopchin invented 
victories : he caused news of one by Ostermann and another by 
Wittgenstein to be promulgated, and though sensible people 
did not believe him, the ignorant were faithful to the end. 
" Fear nothing," he said to the citizens ; " a storm has come ; 
we will dissipate it ; the grist will be ground into meal. 
Some think Napoleon is coming to stay ; others that he 
chinks only to skin us. He makes the soldiers expect the 
Field-Marshal's baton, beggars think to get gold, and while 
such simpletons await him, he takes them by the neck and 
hurls them to death." Again : " I will answer with my head 
that the scoundrel shall not enter the city ; if he attempts this 
I shall call on all. Forward, comrades of Moscow ! Let us 
out to fight. We shall be 100.000 ; we shall take with us 
the ikon of the Virgin, 150 guns and be sure we shall finish 
the affair one and all." After Borodino he issued another 
proclamation : " Brothers, we are many and ready to sacrifice 
life for the salvation of our land, and prevent the scoundrel 
entering Moscow ; you must help. Moscow is our mother ; 
she has suckled us, nursed us, enriched us. In the name of 
the Mother of God I call on you to help to defend the Holy 
Places of Moscow, of Russia ! Arm yourselves how you can, 
on foot or horseback, take only enough food for three days, 
go with the Holy Cross, preceded by the standards from the 
Churches, and assemble on the three Hills. I shall" be there, 
and together we will exterminate the invaders. Glory in 
Heaven for those who go ! Eternal peace for those who die! 
Punishment at the Last Day for all who hold back ! " 

To the last Rostopchin nursed the illusion of the 
citizens ; he told them men were at work upon some 
wonderful military engine a fire balloon which would 
destroy the French army instantaneously. Meanwhile 
the Archbishop Augustine, who had ordered the pro- 

'The French Invasion and after 

cession through the town of the ikons of the Iberian 
Mother of God, the Virgin of Smolensk, was instructed 
to take the sacred treasures to Vladimir. Rostopchin 
had but one serious complaint against Kutuzov ; he 
had asked for three days' notice if the town was to be 
abandoned, he got but twenty-four hours. Every- 
thing of value that could be removed was packed and 
sent away ; there was a general exodus on the night 
of the ist September (old style) and Rostopchin left 
with the Russian army, the rear-guard of which was 
quitting the city by the Preobrajenski suburb at the 
same time that the advance-guard of the French army 
entered it by the Dragomilov Zastava. Before he 
left Rostopchin opened the prisons, gave the lowest 
class the entry to the arsenal, and ordered the stores 
to be fired ; also, he put to death one Vereshchagin, 
accused of publishing Napoleon's proclamation, a deed 
that was no less criminal because needless. And here 
Rostopchin's work ended ; if he had received longer 
notice of Kutuzov's decision to abandon the town he 
would doubtless have saved more of the valuable portable 
property of state and church, and might have destroyed 
the town. With reference to all the correspondence 
that ensued as to the party responsible for the firing of 
Moscow, it can be said only that Rostopchin and the 
Russians would like to have had the credit for making 
a so magnificent sacrifice, but it was of political ex- 
pedience that the Russians should believe the destruc- 
tion of the holy places and their revered city directly 
due to the invader. 

The apologists of Napoleon attribute his misconduct 
of the campaign to ill-health ; as likely as not the 
thwarting of his plans by the enemy, his defeats and 
doubtful victories caused his illness. Whether his 
genius failed him or not, there can be no doubt of 
the magnitude of the conception and the utter ineptitude 
T 289 

The Story of Moscow 

exhibited in its execution. After Borodino his generals 
lost faith in him ; they remained taciturn and morose, 
until at two o'clock on the afternoon of September the 
2nd, the staff obtained their first view of Moscow from 
the summit of the Poklonnaya Hill, the " salutation " 
point of the Sparrow Hills. In the bright sunlight of 
the early autumn, the city, resplendent with gold domes 
and glittering crosses, seemed the fitting goal for their 
long deferred hopes and they of one accord raised a 
joyful shout, " Moscou ! a Moscou ! " 

Even Napoleon expressed his admiration and delight, 
and received the warm congratulations of his now en- 
thusiastic generals. It was rumoured that an officer had 
arrived from the town to discuss terms of surrender : 
Napoleon halted, but grew uneasy when the expected 
messenger could not be found and there were no signs of 
an approaching delegate or of that deputation of gor- 
geously robed boyards he had fondly hoped would attend 
his coming to surrender the keys of the Kremlin and sue 
for his clemency towards the citizens. A n hour before 
he had commanded Count Duronelle to hurry on to 
Moscow and arrange for the ostentatious performance 
of the customary ceremony. He was now told that 
the town had been abandoned by the officials, that the 
citizens had forsaken it, but Moscow, empty it is true, 
was at his feet. Murat had found a few stragglers, 
amongst them a French type-setter, and these wretched 
fugitives were ordered before the staff, and by their 
spokesman begged for protection. " Imbecile " was 
the only word Napoleon trusted himself to answer. 
His chagrin, his wounded self-love, his mortification at 
the unexpected turn of affairs unnerved him. One of 
the Russian prisoners describes the effect of the news 
thus : 

"Napoleon was thoroughly overcome and completely lost 
his self-control. His calm and regular step was changed into 


'The French Invasion and after 

a quick, uneven tread. He kept looking around him, fidgetted, 
stood still, trembled all over, looked fierce, tweaked his own 
nose, pulled a glove off and put it on again, tore another glove 
out of his pocket, rolled it up into a ball, and, as if in deep 
thought, put it into his other pocket, again took it out, and 
again put it back, pulled the other glove from his hand, then 
quickly drew it on again, and kept repeating this process. 
This went on for an hour, during which the generals standing 
behind him remained like statues, not even daring to move." 

Various accounts are given respecting the first entry 
of the troops into Moscow. Some of the inhabitants 
who remained, having faith in the assurances of Ros- 
topchin, welcomed the invaders believing them to be 
some of the foreign allies of the Russian army. An 
official who had not been able to escape states that he 
saw some serfs carrying arms from the arsenal, one, who 
was intoxicated had a musket in one hand and in the 
other a carbine, for remarking upon the folly of such 
an armament, the man threw first the musket then 
the carbine at him, and a crowd of rioters rushed from 
the arsenal all armed, as the advance-guard of the French 
approached. The captain begged an interpreter to .ad- 
vise the crowd to throw down their arms and not engage 
in an unequal struggle, but the ignorant people, excited 
if not intoxicated, fired a few rounds accidentally, or by 
design, and the French thereupon made use of their 
artillery, and a wild fight ensued. After some ten or 
a dozen had been sabred, the others asked for quarter, 
and received it. Another story is to the effect that 
some of the armed citizens mistaking a general for 
Napoleon, fired at him as he approached the Kremlin 
and were then charged by his guard and put to flight. 
When later, Napoleon rode up to the Borovitski Gate, 
a decrepid soldier, a tottering veteran, too stubborn to 
forsake his post, resolutely blocked the way and was 
mercilessly struck down by the advance-guard. 

The fires commenced the same evening that the 


The Story of Moscow 

French entered the town ; there were no engines avail- 
able and the soldiers, hungry and joyful, disregarded 
the danger and attended to their more immediate 
needs. Rostopchin had ordered that the contents of 
the " cellars " should be burned, but there was no lack 
of liquor, and the conquerors were not to be denied. 
As the " Warriors " sing in Zhukovski's epic : 

' O, yes ! the ruby stream to drain 
Is glory's pride and pleasure- 
Wine! Conqueror thou of care and pain, 
Thou art the hero's treasure." 

So whilst rank and file caroused, the small beginnings 
of the great conflagration were neglected and men 
were powerless to cope with the later developments, 
though some worked like Trojans. The stores of oil, 
of spirits, the inflammable wares in the Gostinnoi Dvor 
were ignited, and although Marshal Mortier worked 
well to extinguish the fires near the Kremlin, the lack 
of engines and the continuous outbursts of fresh fires, 
made complete success impossible. The looting of the 
town commenced at once ; soon the greedy soldiers 
left their partly cooked rations to search for valuables, 
even the sentinels forsook their posts and they fought 
with the rabble from the prisons for such goods as 
seemed most easily removed. In time, not content with 
such as had been abandoned, they commenced to rob 
from the person ; women were spoiled of head-dresses 
and gowns, the men fought with each other for the 
temporary possession of pelf. The only lights for this 
unholy work were the torches all carried and the fires 
the looters set ablaze in order that they might see. 
When Napoleon thought the conflagration was the 
result of a preconcerted scheme he ordered all incendi- 
aries to be shot, and then none durst carry a light by 
night without risk of being there and then shot by 

The French Invasion and after 

some predatory soldier on his own initiative, or, not 
less surely executed in due form after a mock court- 
martial at dawn of day. 

Discipline was lax ; among the soldiery of the army 
of occupation, many bold souls did just as they wished, 
and of their enormities, their cruelties and shameful 
orgies, nothing need be written. Others had leave of 
absence a licence to pilfer. They not only ransacked 
the occupied houses, but dragged people from their 
hiding places, harnessed them to carts, with bayonet 
and worse urged them on, heavily laden, through burn- 
ing streets, and saving themselves from the crumbling 
walls and roofs, saw their miserable captives crushed, 
buried, or struggling among the burning debris, and 
abandoned to their fate. In the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the Kremlin the pilfering was official ; in the 
Cathedral of the Assumption, great scales and steelyards 
were set up, and outside two furnaces, one for gold the 
other for silver, were kept ever burning to melt down 
the settings torn from the sacred pictures, the church 
vessels, the gilt ornaments, aye, even the decorations 
on the priests' robes. Horses were stabled in the 
cathedrals and churches ; Marshal Davoust slept in 
the sanctuary with sentinels on both sides of the 
"royal doors" of the ikonostas. "Destroy that 
mosque," was Napoleon's peremptory order to one 
of his generals with reference to the Church of the 
Protection of the Virgin, but he delayed executing the 
order finding this cathedral convenient as a stable and 
storehouse. At first the fire was most severe in the 
warehouses flanking the Grand Square and along the 
quays. It spread most rapidly amidst the great stores 
on the south side of the river. The Balchoog was 
a sea of flame and the whole of the Zamoskvoretski 
quarter was practically destroyed. On the other side 
the burning Gostinnoi Dvor ignited neighbouring stores 

2 93 

The Story of Moscow 

in the Nikolskaya, Ilyinka and elsewhere on the 

Kitai Gorod. The gleeds carried by a north wind 

threatened the palaces in the Kremlin where, under 

a cloud of sparks, the buildings glowed red and seemed 

to many to be also burning. The ammunition had 

already been brought there and caused the French 

great anxiety. Napoleon, after a peaceful night in 

the royal palace, was unwilling to believe that the 

fires were other than accidental, but as the day 

waned and the iires increased in number as well as 

size, he grew agitated and exclaimed, " They are 

true to themselves these Scythians ! It is the work of 

incendiaries ; what men then are they, these Scythians ! " 

He passed the next night in the Kremlin, but not 

at rest. It was with the greatest difficulty that the 

soldiers on the roof of the palace disposed of the 

burning fragments that at times fell upon the metal 

like a shower of hail. The heat was intense ; the 

stores of spirits exploded, and blue flames hid the 

yellow and orange of the burning timbers and darted 

with lightning rapidity in all directions, a snake-like 

progress through the denser parts of the town, firing 

even the logs of wood with which the streets were at 

that time paved. When the fire reached the hospitals, 

where 20,000 unfortunate wounded lay almost helpless, 

scenes of unmitigated horror were witnessed by the 

invaders unable to succour, and chiefly intent on their 

own safety. The famous Imperial Guard stationed 

in the Kremlin was divided into two sections ; one 

was occupied in struggling against the fire, the other 

held all in readiness for instant flight. At last the 

Church of the Trinity caught fire, and whilst the Guard 

at once set about its destruction, Napoleon, with the 

King of Naples, Murat, Beauharnais, Berthier and his 

staff, left the Kremlin hurriedly for the Petrovski Palace. 

The Tverskaya was ablaze, passage by that way im- 


'The French Invasion and after 

possible ; the party crossed for the Nikitskaya but in 
the neighbourhood of the Arbat lost their way, and 
after many adventures and near escapes found the 
suburbs, and by a roundabout route reached the 
Palace at nightfall. In many places the fire had 
burned out by September the 5th, and that night a 
heavy rain, luckily continued during the next day, 
stopped the spread of the fire, and on Sunday the 8th, 
Napoleon returned over the still smouldering embers 
to his old quarters in the Kremlin. Amidst or near 
by the cinders of the capital, Napoleon remained for 
more than a month. The remaining inhabitants suffered 
great hardships ; some fraternised with the French 
soldiers and helped in quenching fires, but parties 
accused of incendiarism were still led out almost daily 
to execution. The French residents were in a most 
pitiable condition ; Napoleon could not or would not 
do anything for them ; they, and the rest of the 
citizens, with many of the soldiers were soon threatened 
with starvation. 

This campaign more than any other undertaking of 
his life, reveals the despicable character of Napoleon 
as a man ; even as a commander he seemed to have 
lost grip of the serious situation of his troops : he, who 
at one time could never make a mistake now only 
happened on the right thing by accident, and that rarely. 
In an impoverished province, amidst a famished popula- 
tion, he could not possibly winter his army, but acted 
as though he intended to do so. He made stupid 
speeches respecting the career of Peter the Great ; 
read up the proclamations of Pugatchev, hoping to find 
in them something which would enable him to incite 
the people to rebel ; tried even to make allies of the 
Tartars, and failed ; at the same time he sent again and 
again to Alexander professing warm personal friendship 
and readiness to conclude peace. Alexander heard his 


The Story of Moscow 

overtures with silent contempt. The Russian generals 
were mercilessly harassing the divisions of the Great 
Army in the provinces, and armed bands of peasants 
sought revenge on those invaders who had violated 
women and children, and desecrated the churches. 

On October the 6th, Napoleon decided to begin his 
retreat on the morrow, and that same evening drew up 
a scheme for the visit of a Parisian theatrical company 
to Moscow and its installation there. Of precious 
metal from the churches of the Kremlin, nearly five 
tons of silver and four and a half hundredweights of 
gold had been melted into ingots. The great wooden 
cross, thirty feet in length, which surmounted Ivan 
Veliki, had been regilt at great cost but the year before, 
and the French, thinking it solid gold, threw it down. 
Like all the crosses, it was of worthless material, but 
contained a small cross of pure gold, which these 
disgusted pillagers failed to find. 

When the time came for Napoleon to leave Moscow 
he was unwilling that any should know his intention. 
" Perhaps 1 shall return to Moscow," he said to one 
of his company, but as he had already given orders to 
Lariboisiere, the chief of artillery, to destroy the 
Kremlin, he doubtless, better than anyone else, knew 
that this could not be. Napoleon thought to destroy 
everything of value left standing in the town ; walls, 
towers, palaces, churches, convents, monasteries all 
were ruined. " The defeat of Murat at Tarutin forced 
Napoleon to hurry away earlier than he intended, and 
lo Marshal Mortier was left the task of destruction. 
He having made the requisite preparations left during 
the night of the 1 1 - 1 2th October, and, not far from Fili, 
gave the signal by cannon for the firing of the mines. It 
was a terrible explosion in the darkness and stillness of 
night ; it killed some and wounded many, and was fol- 
lowed quickly by minor explosions at different points." 

French Invasion and after 

Napoleon failed even in this attempt ; the damage 
done was trifling the tower over the Nikolski Gate 
fell, so did one at the corner of the Kremlin wall. 
There were breaches here and there, but churches and 
other buildings remained intact. It is said that the 
heavy rain destroyed the trains of gunpowder to the 
mines, from which subsequently sixty tons of the ex- 
plosive were taken. Fesanzac states Mortier inten- 
tionally used powder of bad quality, not wishing to 
destroy the buildings ; it is more probable that he used 
the best he could get and that the director of artillery 
was unwilling to waste serviceable munitions of war he 
might require later. 

The story of the retreat of the Grande Armee is 
well known and need not be recapitulated here. If the 
French and their allies suffered, the peasants also 
endured terrible hardships. Shot down for defending 
the honour of their wives and daughters ; for protecting 
their property ; for refusing to honour the false hundred 
rouble notes Napoleon had ordered to be printed in 
order to reward his soldiers ; on any and every other 
pretence whatever, they yet accomplished a terrible 
revenge, harassing the invaders to the last. The 
French slew and destroyed ; wrecked old walls, 
desecrated churches, and in sheer spite threw the spoil 
they could not carry further into the rivers and lakes. 
Wilson urged Kutuzov to engage the refugees, whom 
he termed ghosts roaming too far from their graves, 
but Kutuzov trusted to the cold and the distance to 
wear out the remnant of the great army. He under- 
estimated the powers of human endurance, some 70,000 
escaped of the half million or more that had in- 
vaded Russia. Napoleon, that " incomparable military 
genius," does not appear on this occasion to have 
possessed the astuteness even of the mediaeval Tartar 
Khans, who on their invasions withdrew " without 


The Story of Moscow 

ostensible cause " at the end of the season. More 
selfish than they, he saved himself by deserting his 
men. They died like flies on the approach of winter ; 
some were burned during their sleep by outraged 
peasants ; more were slipped through holes in the ice ; 
many reached Vilna only to be entrapped by the 
Russian soldiers, or, if still more unfortunate, tossed 
from the upper windows of the Ghetto and kicked to 
death by old polish Jewesses in the streets. Piteous? 
Yes, but it is the pity one feels for the burglarious 
murderer who falls on the spikes of the area railings. 
The invasion of the twenty nations had even such 
inglorious ending ; its effect upon the Muscovites was 
similar to that which followed a great Tartar raid ; 
it was unexpected disastrous, and, as long as re- 
membered, engendered in the Russ that same distrust 
of the west it had previously entertained of the east. 

In Moscow there are now few traces of the French 
invasion, for its effect was general rather than particular. 
The palace occupied by Napoleon has been destroyed ; 
in its place the Tsar Nicholas built his new Imperial 
residence, from the windows of which may still be 
seen the old Borovitski Gate, by which Napoleon first 
entered and last left the Kremlin. Beyond that gate 
there is now an immense and stately pile, the magnifi- 
cent new Cathedral of Our Saviour, built by the people 
in gratitude for their deliverance from the invaders. 
A monument that furnishes conclusive evidence that 
the spirit of earnestness which actuated the old cathedral 
builders is not yet extinct in Russia. 

One other memorial of the times will attract the 
attention of visitors to the Kremlin : arranged along 
the front of the arsenal, opposite the Senate House, 
are ranged the cannon captured from, or abandoned 
by, the Grande Armee. The inscriptions, one in 
French the other in Russian, on the plates to the 


The French Invasion and after 

right and left of the principal entrance set forth the 
origin of these trophies. Most of the weapons have 
the Napoleonic initial boldly engraved upon the breech ; 
actually only 365 are French ; there are 189 Austrian, 
1 23 Prussian, 40 Neapolitan, 36 Bavarian, I West- 
phalian, 12 Saxon, i Hanoverian, 70 Italian, 3 
Wurtemburgian, 8 Spanish, 22 Dutch, 5 Polish in 
all 875. 

Before the great fire there were over 2-500 brick or 
stone buildings in Moscow, and about 6600 of wood ; 
the fire destroyed over 2000 of the brick buildings and 
some 4500 of the wooden dwellings. It may seem 
strange that so many of the old buildings escaped. Of 
course the old convents, monasteries and churches in 
the suburbs, like the Novo Devichi, Simonov, Petrovski 
Palace, etc., were beyond the limit of the fire ; the 
remainder, many of them, stood in their own grounds or 
were isolated from other buildings, much as the Strastnoi 
Monastyr is now. At that time, although the town 
limits were practically the same as at present the line 
of the Kammer College rampart the houses were 
fewer and, outside the Kitai Gorod, few streets con- 
sisted of continuous rows of houses. If the visitor 
wishes to have a clear comprehension of the sort of 
town, in detail, the great village of Moscow was at the 
beginning of this century, a drive along the Sadovia or 
through the side streets between that thoroughfare and 
the boundary will help its acquisition. More, it will 
bring him face to face with the best of the buildings 
of '* Skorodom " that sprang from among the cinders 
of the great conflagration. A pleasant, bungalow-like, 
garden-town ; spacious houses, with pretentious faades 
in the pseudo-classic style of the first empire ; mostly 
squat and inconvenient, irregular, bright with native 
carpentry, stucco, painted metal roofs, and clean washed 
walls. It is this Moscow that is so picturesque and so 


The Story of Moscow 

rapidly disappearing before the march of industrialism, 
sanitation, and an increasing population. When Alex- 
ander I. visited the town in 1816, great haste was 
made to present a fair show of dwellings in the vast 
open spaces ; some, painted and distempered, were 
without windows, roofs, staircases, or even floors ; these 
walls, then little more than the semblances of buildings, 
just such as now put on the stage, were later utilised by 
fitting dwellings, of a sort, to them. Some have long 
served their purpose; others, curious, quaint and singular, 
still remain but he who would see them must not long 

With reference to the historic and sacred buildings, 
those answerable for their keeping sought only to re- 
store, enrich, and preserve. At no time has Moscow 
possessed more or better memorials of the past than she 
does at present. The risk of destruction by fire has 
greatly lessened ; of further demolition by ruthless 
invaders there is, happily, no longer a possibility, and 
the slower but not less certain destruction from the 
inroad of industrialism may be stayed by the timely 
awakening of the Moscow citizens to the value of the 
relics they possess, and the desire not only to preserve 
them for their own sake, but also as ornaments to the 
old town of which all are so fond and now anxious 
to beautify. 


Itinerary and Miscellaneous 

" Some few particulars I have set down fit to be known of 
your crude traveller.'' BEN JONSON. 

T~*O many Moscow seems so far distant, and Russia 
so unknown, that a few hints to intending travellers 
may be welcome. In the first place as to the best 
season for the journey ; notwithstanding all the claims 
advanced in favour of winter and they are not in- 
considerable for a first visit, or an only visit, the 
summer is preferable. Moscow, the brilliant and 
gorgeous is seen at its best in the bright sunlight ; 
it is more picturesque and more conveniently to be 
viewed in detail or entirety. The latter part of June 
is the best period for then is the season of the " white 
nights " when there is no need of street lamps and the 
days are more than long enough for sight-seeing. 

The shortest and best route is by way of Flushing, 
Berlin, Warsaw and Smolensk : distance from London 
1 800 miles ; time 65 hours. Return tickets available 
for six weeks may be purchased at any London 
terminus: first class ^16, 135. gd., second class 
;io, 195. yd. Through travellers should start by 
the night service from London, and change trains in 
Berlin at theZoologischer Garten station ; leave Moscow 
by the 5 P.M. train and in Berlin change at the 


The Story of Moscow 

Alexanderplatz station ; by these through services the 
drive across Warsaw is avoided. 

Of the many other routes that recommended as the 
most enjoyable is via Gothenburg, by the canal to 
Stockholm and thence by the excellent steamers to 
Abo, Hango, Helsingfors or direct to St Petersburg 
and on to Moscow by the Nikolai railway. By all 
routes a Foreign Office passport, vise by the Russian 
Consul, is indispensable. 

Compared with the leading hotels in other great 
towns, those of Moscow leave much to be desired. 
Hotel Billo on the Great Lubianka is centrally situated 
and much frequented by the English visitors, who 
there find adequate accommodation and the greatest 
courtesy. Hotel Dresden, on the Tverskaya, is upon 
even higher ground, opposite the residence of the 
Governor - General ; Hotel Continental facing the 
Grand Theatre, and the Moskovski Traktir, opposite 
the Vosskresenski Gate, are also well kept and are 
near the Kremlin ; the Slavianski Bazaar is in the Kitai 
Gorod. The Russian custom, which it is advisable 
should be followed if a long stay is made, is to take 
rooms in a hotel or elsewhere ; the rent includes 
heating in winter, and the use of the samovar twice 
daily. The Kokoref Hotel, on the south side of the 
river, is one of the largest establishments on this plan 
and many of its rooms command superb views of the 
Kremlin (see p. 13) and are in demand by English 
visitors on this account. The restaurants are good ; in 
summer the visitor should not fail to lunch in the 
lofty court of the Slavianski Bazaar which, like the 
Bolshoi Moskovski Traktir, is much used by business 
men. For native dishes the Praga, on the Arbat, 
and Tyestov's, on the Vosskresenski Place, are the best ; 
the Ermitage, on the Trubaya is more ostentatious, 
but the cuisine is good; the Saratov (Srietenka 


Miscellaneous Information 

Boulevard) is favoured by university students. At 
all the service is excellent, and the old-fashioned attire 
of the waiters unconventional and pleasing. The 
peculiarly local dishes comprise: ikra (fresh caviare), 
batvennia and okroshka (iced soups), shchee (cabbage 
soup with sour cream), ukha (fish soup), beluga, 
osternia, etc. (different varieties of sturgeon), poros- 
ianok (cold boiled sucking pig with horse-radish sauce), 
rasolnik, yazu and barannybok are made dishes ; the 
appropriate beverage is one of the many varieties of 
kvas, which will be served iced in fine old silver 
beakers or tankards of native workmanship. Tea 
with lemon at the Cafe Philipov, on the Tverskaya. 

Many tourists whilst on a yachting cruise in the 
Baltic avail themselves of the steamer's stay in the 
Neva to make a hurried visit to Moscow. To them, 
and others whose stay is necessarily of short duration, 
the following itinerary may be useful : - 

(1) Drive through the Kitai Gorod, the Grand 
Square, across the Moskvoretski bridge, along the 
quay to the Kammeny Most ; cross the river and 
enter the Kremlin by the Troitski Gate and alight at 
Ivan Veliki. Visit the cathedrals and monasteries of the 
Kremlin (Chs. viii., ix.) ; the Great Palace and Terem 
(Ch. vii. ) ; Potieshni Dvorets (Ch. viii.). Later drive 
out to the Novo Devichi Convent (Ch. xii. ) ; thence 
to the ferry before sunset, dine at the Restoran Krinkin, 
return to the Mala Kammeny Most by steamer or by 
tram to the Kaluga Place see the Kremlin by moon- 
light from the Kokoref. 

(2) Iberian Chapel (Ch. vii.) ; Historical Museum 
(Ch. ii. ) ; Treasury (Orujni Palata) in the Kremlin 
(Ch. vii..) ; Spass na Boru (Ch. ix.) ; Ascension 
Convent (Ch. xii.) ; through the Redeemer Gate 
(Ch. xiii. ) ; Vasili Blajenni (Ch. iv. ) ; Old Gostinni 
Dvor, Dom Romanovykh (Ch. xi. ); walk up the 

u 305 

The Story of Moscow 

Starai Ploshchad, inside wall of the Kitai Gorod, to 
Church of St Nicholas of the Great Cross. Then up 
through the market, or outside the wall to the 
Vladimirski Vorot (Ch. ix.) ; the churches and 
monasteries in the Nikolski to St Mary of Kazan 
behind the Town Hall. Later up the Lubianka to the 
church and monastery of the Srietenka (Ch. x. ) ; the 
Sukharev Bashnia, along the boulevard to the Strastnoi 
Monastery (Ch. xii.) ; drive past the Triumphalnia to 
Khodinski Pole, the Petrovski Palace, Park, etc. 

Note. The Dom Romanovykh is usually open from 
1 1 until 2 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays ; the 
Treasury on the same days ; and the Great Palace, 
Terem, etc., on alternate days with these. 

(3) English Church, Conservatorium, old and new 
Universities, Manege, Rumiantsev Museum (Ch. x.) ; 
New Cathedral (Ch. xiv.). Later to the Tretiakov 
Gallery (Ch. x.) ; the Danilovski and Donskoi 
Monastyrs (Ch. xii.) ; drive home across the Krimski 
Bridge, Skorodom and the Sadovia. 

(4) Matveiev memorial (Ch. x.) ; Church of St 
Nicholas, Church of the Nativity (Ch. viii.) ; Foundling 
Hospital, Novo Spasski Monastyr (Ch. xii.); Krutitski 
Vorot (p. 142) ; Simonov Monastyr (Ch. xii.) and 
return. Later to Krasnce Vorot and Prud, and 

( 5 ) Taininskoe ; Church, Palace and Park at Ostan- 
kina, Mordva (Ch. xi.); Petrovski- Razoomovski, etc. 


(a) Over the Dragomilov Bridge to the village of 
Fili, memorial church, and izba with a museum of 
memorials of the Council of War held there by 
Napoleon in 1812 (Ch. xiv.). 

() By the Krestovski Zastava to the old church 

Miscellaneous Information 

of the regency at Taininskoe ; the seventeenth century 
church at Ostankina ; near by is the " Palace," a wooden 
mansion belonging to the Sheremetiev family ; beyond 
the park and village of Sirlovo is the Mordva hamlet, 
(Ch. xii.). 

(c ) By the Preobrajenski Zastava to the suburb of 
that name (Ch. vii. ), and Transfiguration Cemetery, 
and principal establishment of the Bezpopovtsi sect of 
Old Believers (Ch. ix.). 

(</) By the Rogojski Zastava to the cemetery and 
church of that name for the religious services of the 
Old Believers, (Ch. ix.). 


Few visitors to Moscow leave Russia without 
seeing the Troitsa Monastery (67 versts on the 
Yaroslav Railway), mentioned in Chapter v. and else- 
where, but although closely connected with the history 
of Moscow not within the scope of this book. Other 
places of like or different interest are : the New 
Jerusalem Monastery near Krukova, 36 versts on the 
Nikolai Railway and about 14 miles thence by road ; 
the battlefield of Borodino, (114 versts on the 
Smolensk Railway) ; Nijni-Novgorod, 410 versts, 
but the pleasure fair has been discontinued and the 
celebrated yearly market is now exclusively commercial. 


Of the English books treating of Old Muscovy the 
best contemporaneous accounts have been reprinted in 
the five volumes of the Hakluyt Society's publications 
devoted to early travels in Russia. The best con- 
temporary Life of Peter I. in English is that by 
Alex. Gordon ; among the best recently published, 
u * 307 

T'he Story of Moscow 

the translation of K. Waliszewski's study, and Eugene 
Scuyler's account of the Life and Times of Peter the 
Great. For matters ecclesiastical Albert F. Heard' s 
Russian Church and Russian Dissent will be found 
most informing, and Mr W. J. Birkbeck's history of 
the Eastern Church Society's work of more particular 
interest to Anglican's. In another field Mr Alfred 
Maskell's " Russian Art " may be found useful, and 
the antiquary will find much that is curious and 
suggestive in " L'Art Russe : ses origines," etc., by 
E. E. Viollet le Due (Paris, 1877). 


Amateur photographers should join the Russian 
Photographic Society, whose members alone have the 
right to photograph throughout the empire. Other- 
wise it will be necessary to obtain permission of the 
chief of the police in each town or district. The 
Kremlin is technically a fortress, and the use of the 
camera within the walls forbidden, but leave is given 
on personal application to the Governor to those 
who are already furnished with the police permit, or 
are members of the Photographic Society. Applica- 
tion for membership should be made, prior to visiting 
Russia, to the Secretary, Russian Photographic Society, 
Dom Djamgarof, Kusnetski Most, Moscow. 



ADASHEF, 50, 52. 


ALEVISO, Fioraventi, 44, 148. 

ALEXANDER GARDENS, 15, 153, 224. 


ALEXIS, St, 23, 176, 253^ 

ALEXIS, Tsar, 116, 120 ff, 134, 137. 


ALL SAINTS' DAY, Fire on, 257. 

AMBROSE, Archbishop, 257. 


ANNUNCIATION, Cath. of, 293 ff, 
SOBOR, Church of, 149. 

ARBAT, 49, 82, 225, 295. 


ARCHITECTURE, Muscovite, 3, 223, 
302 ; arches, 168 ; Church, 181, 
diversity of, 225 ; Domestic, 169, 
225, 228 ; Ecclesiastical, 177 ; 
Origin of Muscovite, 168 ; of 
" Skorodom," 220, 301. 

ARMS of Moscow, 36, 125. 

of Romanofs, 125. 

of Russia, 36. 

ART, Bookbinders', 192 ; Byzantine 
examples, 122, 142, 261 ; church, 
ig2_, 194 ; decorative, 246 ; ecclesi- 
astic, 182 ; frescoes, 192 ; gems and 
jewellery, 198 ; Gothic influence 
on Muscovite, 141, 280; ikon- 
portraiture, 183 ; metal work, 
243 ; pictorial, 221 ; wall-paint- 
ings, 188, 195. 


ASCENSION CONVENT, 257, and see 


ASSUMPTION, Cath. of, 185^"; and 

Church of, 89. 


BAATI, 16. 

BALAAM, Metrop., 253. 

BARMI, 140. 

BASMANOVS, 74, 91, 98. 
BEARDS and Fines, 216. 
BELSKIS, 81, 91. 
BEST, Harry, 240. 
BELLS, Founding, 159. 

Moscow, 157 ff. 

BELVEDERES, 41, 117, 154. 
BIELO-GOROD, 40, 82, 207. 

BlELO-OzERSK, 52, 92. 

BLACK Clergy, 253. 

Z 3> 193^- 

BLESSING the Water, 150. 
BOGOLOOBSKI, Andrew, 15, 87. 


BOMEL, Dr E., 72, 278. 
BORODINO, Battle of, 286. 

BOROVITSKI VOROT, 41, 291, 299. 

BOWES, Jeremy, 43, 62. 

BOYARDS, 63 ; customs of, 227 ; 

duma of, 81, 134. 
BRIDES of the Tsars, 118, 120. 
BRUCE, Field-Marshal, 210 ; Tomb 

of, 261. 
BYZANTIUM and Moscow, 32. 

Style of in, 261. 

Symbols of, 140. 


CANNON, 96, 160, 300. 
CARRIAGES and Harness, 140. 
CASPIAN, Jenkinson on the, 273. 
CATHEDRALS, Location of, 164 ; see 

CHANCELLOR, R., 132, 276. 
CHANI-BEK, 253. 
CHAPEL of St Dmitri, 189. 

St Gabriel, 196. 

St George, 196. 

Sts. Peter and Paul, 189. 

St Samon, 197. 

see also CHURCH. 
CHARACTERISTICS of boyards, 100, 
"5, 237- 
Ivan IV., 78. 



CHARACTERISTICS of Peter I., 206. 

Moscow, i, 141, 301. 

Moscow Citizens, 237. 

Moscow Princes, 10, 47. 

CHARM of Moscow, 225, 252. 


CHASTOK, 245. 

CHEMIAKI, 28, 31, 145. 


CHRISTIANITY in Russia, 3, 6. 32, 

86-95, i74.# 

CHURCH, Russian, 172^; feasts of, 

263, and Tsar, 55, 69, 116, 215 ; 

and Western Church, 32, 95 ; saves 

Moscow, 23, 101. 
CHURCH of St Ambrose, 266. 

St Balaam, 266. 

St Catherine, 259. 

Sts Constantine and Helen. 

St George, 259. 

St James, 266. 

St Jehosaphat, 266. 

St John the Baptist, 130, 148. 

St Lazarus, 41, 45, 127. 

St Nikanor, 266. 

St Nikolas, 209. 

St Prokhor, 266. 

St Saviour's, 161. 

the Apostles, 188. 

Nativity and Flight, 127. 

Our Saviour on High, 128,161. 

Vasili Blajenni, 47. 65, 179. 

CHURCHES of the Bielo-Gorod, 205, 

209, 225. 

Kitai-Gorod, 204. 

Kremlin, 185. 

Palace 127^ 

Suburbs, 246, 249, 307. 

Zemlianni-Gorod, 181, 209, 


CONVENT, Ascension, 257. 

Conception, 260. 

Nativity, 251. 

Nikitski, 224. 

Novo Devichi, 265. 

Strastnoi (Passion), 260, 301. 

Zachatievski, 260. 
CONVENT-LIFE, 258, 269. 
COSSACKS, 91, 263. 
CRIMEAN WAR and English in Mos- 
cow, 282. 


CROSS, Pre-Christian, 7 ; Russian, 

182, 196. 
CRUELTIES, 33, 49^! 150, 212, 215, 

232, 240, 246, see also IVAN IV. 

and PETER I. 
CUSTOMS, of early Slavs, 7; of 

Mediasval Moscow, 132 ; curious, 

248, 265. 

DELAGARDIE, General, 100. 
DISSENT and Dissenters, 202, 204^ 
DIVERSITY of Moscow, 225. 
DMITRI DONSKOI, 23, i^ff. 

" first false, ' : yiff. 

Ivanovich, 51, 85. 

"second false," 101, 103, 107. 

of the " terrible eyes," 19. 

DOGMA and Ritual, 177, 200. 
DOLGORUKI, family, 15, 118. 
Yuri, 12. 



Usurov, 219 

DOMOSTROI, 50, 235. 
DON COSSACKS, 91, 105. 
DRINKING habits, 235-236. 


DUMA of the boyards, 1-54. 

EDIGER, 27. 

ENGLISH in Moscow, 54, 58, 62, 

210, 270^ 
EPIPHANY, 255, and see BOGOYAV- 


ETIQUETTE, Muscovite, 43, 97. 
EUDOXIA, (Donskoi), 258. 

Striechnev, 119. 

Lapunov, 216 

EXPRESS trains, 303. 

FAIRS, 38, 238. 
FAMINE, 88, 106. 
FIORAVENTI, Aleviso, 44, 148. 


FIRE, The great, 290.^ 

FIRES in Moscow, 16, 23, 25, 49, 50, ! 

104, 227. 

FLORENCE, Council of, 32. 
FOOD of Muscovites, 234, 305. 
FOREIGNERS in Moscow, 23, 33, 52, 1 

54, 58, 62, 64, 73, 99, 139, 274^ ' 


FRENCH cannon captured, 160, 297. \ 
Invasion, 284^"; settlers, 295. ! 

GADEN, Dr, 212. 
GALITZIN, Kniaz, 145. 
GALLOWAY. Chris.. 157, 280. 
GEORGE, Prince, 17. 

St. 125, 259. 

GLINSKI, Helena, 38, 47. 

GLUISKI, 49, 71. 

GODUNOV, Boris, 73, 80^. 85. 

Theodore, 92. 

GOLDEN Gates, 133. 

Hall, 131. 

Horde, see Tartars. 

Palace, 82, 128. 

Lesser, 82, 112, 127. 

GORDON, Patrick, 281. 

Alexander, 282. 



GREETING, Manner of, 242. 244. 
GRIFFINS, Heraldic, 125. 


HAMILTON, Miss, 278. 

HERBERSTEIN, 43, 231. 

HERMOGEN, Patriarch, 103. 


" HOLY BREAD," 255, 260. 

Coat, 189. 

Corridor, 131. 

Moscow, 205. 

Vestments, 165. 

HORSEY, Jerora, 47, 58, 64, 71, 79, 
85, 88. 274. 

Adventures of. 276 jff. 

HOTELS, 304. 

HOUSES, early dwellings, 7; in 
Skorodom, 223 ; of Russia Com- 
pany, 277, see also DOM. 

IBERIAN CHAPEL, 143, and see 

IGOR, 5. 

IKONOSTAS, 129, 187, 191, 254. 
IKONS, 129. 

in relievo, 184. 

miraculous, 257, 259, 288. 

" Nerukotvorenni," 182 ff* 

201, 262. 

" Not made with hands," 

1 82^ 201. 

private and personal, 245. 

remarkable, 196. 

trimorphic, 254, 257. 

Varieties of, 183. 

Virgin of Pechersk, 196. 

Virgin of Vladimir, 187, 257. 

Wonder-working, 259. 

"RENE, Princess, 80-82, 87. 
VAN I., 21 ff. 

VAN II., 23. 
VAN III., 32-36. 

VAN IV., 47 et seq., anecdotes of. 
53, 61 jf ; atrocities of, 49 Jf, 57^'- 
241 ; tricks of, 53, 69; victims of. 
76 ; wives, 77 ; wizards, 77. 
VAN V., 241. 

VAN the idiot, 68. 


IVAN " the Terrible " v. IVAN IV. 
IVAN VELIKI, 88, 155. 

JENKINSON, Anthony, 272. 






KAMMER College Rampart, 209. 


KAZAN, 32, 38, 51. 

Virgin of, 259. 

KAZI-GHIREE, Khan, 82, 88. 
KHINGIZ, Khan, 16, 25. 

3 11 


KHLYSTI, 203. 
KIEF, 5, 9, 22, 253. 
KITAI-GOROD, 38, 82, 104, 147, 205, 
238, 277, 301. 


KOURBSKI, Prince, 53. 
Ploshchad, no, 238. 

Vorot, 219. 

Ugol, 132. 

KREMLIN, 13, 22, 40 ; derivation of, 
22 ; dwellings in, 40 ; sights of, 
*47 ff\ view of, 13; walls, 23, 






KuTAIFA, 154. 

KUTCHKO, Stephen, 12. 

LATIN in Moscow, 145. 

LAZAROS, Church of St, 41, 45, 


LE BRUYN, 232. 
"LIFE for the Tsar," no. 
LITHUANIA, 52, 76, 82. 
LOBNCE MESTO, 93, 152, 251. 


MAHOMMBDANS and Muscovites, 
17, 23, 28, 34, 38, 64, 182, 265 

MAIDEN'S FIELD, 265, and see Novo 

MAMAI, Khan, 23^". 



MARRIAGE customs, 232, 241, 250. 

MARY OF VLADIMIR, 187, 257. 

Church of, 204. 

MATVIBVS, 121, 130. 

MEDICH, 147. 


MICHAEL, Tsar, 109, 111 ff. 

Mll.OSAVSKIS, I2O, 259. 

MININ, Cosma, 106, 114. 
MNISZBK, Maria, 97, 100, 113, 258. 


MONASTERIES, early, 27 ; existing, 

2 53^~; see also CONVENTS. 
MONKS and Monasticism, 253^ 
MORDVA, 249. 
MOROZOF, Boyard, 73. 

Boyarina, 202, 222. 

Moscow, Arms of. 36 ; charm of, 

2, 226, 251 ; derivation of name, 
n ; fires in, 16, 23, 25, 49, 104, 
227 ; the golden, 141 ; looted by 
the French, 293 ; sieges of, 25. 27, 
91, 105, 152 ; unconventionally 
of, 2 ; views in, i, 251 ; winter in, 

MOSHI, 177, 255. 

MOSKVA RIVER, 100, 150, 153, 264. 

MOST (Bridge), Kuznetski, 208 ; 
Kammeni.soj; Krasnoe Kholmski, 
262 ; Krimski, 265. 


MUSCOVY and Britain, 73, 270. 

Lithuania, 37. 

Livonia, 33. 

Poland, Sijfi *3 2 - 

Tartary, 23^ 132 

MUSCOVITES of British descent, 283. 
allied with Tartars, 21. 

MUSEUMS, 220. 


NAPOLEON, 124, 290^ 
NARYSHKIN, Family of, 121. 
NATALIA, Tsaritsa, 121, 130. 
NATIVITY, see Rojdestva, 181. 

Church of 181. 

Convent of, 251. 

NHGLINNAIA, 15, 49, 153. 
NEW Rows, 238. 
NICHOLAS, patron saint, 184. 

of Galstun, 157. 

Stylite, 218. 

NIKITA, Saint, 224. 

the preacher, 203. 

Romanof, 277. 


NIKOLSKI VOROT, 24, 153, 297. 

NIKON, 177, 201. 

NOBLES, Muscovite, 42, 81, 87, 114. 


Novi RIADI, 238. 

Novo DEVICHI CONVENT, 87, 265. 




ODDITIES, io8, 248. 


OLEG, 5. 

OLGA, 6. 

OPRITCHNIKS, 56, y)ff- 

ORTHODOXY and Dissent, 95, 202, 


OSMAN and Ahmed, 13. 
" OUR Saviour on High," Ch. of, 

128, 161, 280. 

PAGEANTRY, Church, 243. 

State, 123, 137, 243. 

PALACE, Chequered, 38. 

Golden, 82, 128. 

Granovitaia, 43, 124, 131. 

Great, 124. 

Irene's, 80-82, 87. 

Lesser Golden, 127. 

PALACES, early, 40 ; site of, 124. 
PALEOLOGUS, Thomas, 32. 

Sophia, 33, 128, 232. 



" to St Nicholas," 246. 

PATRIARCHS, Passage of the, 127. 

Sacristy of, 197. 

86, 96, 106, 177^ 215. 

PECHERSKI, 165, 253. 

PETER I., in, 121, 206, 209^ 215. 

Palace, 301, 306. 


PHILARET, Patriarch, 109, 116. 
PHILIP, Metropolitan, 55. 

Church of, 197. 

PLATE, 140. 

POJARSKI, Prince, 107, 114. 
POLAND and Muscovy, 81, 132. 
POLES in Moscow, 101. 
PRINCE and Peasant, 107, 114. 

PROCESSIONS, 126, 243^. 
PROVERBS, Muscovite, 216. 
PRUD, Chisty, 12, 251. 

Krasnce, 306. 

Lizin, 261. 

PUBLIC Buildings, 224. 
Clocks, 195. 

JUAINT survivals, 244^ 249, 276. 

RAMPARTS, Kitai-Gorod, 38, 238. 

Kremlin, 148 ; town, 209, 306. 
" RED," see KRASNOZ. 
REDEEMER GATE, 181 ; and see 

REGALIA, 140. 
RELICS, 189, 192, 196, 255, and sec 


RESTAURANTS, 252, 304. 
RITES, Funeral, 246 ; Marriage, 38, 

77, 250. 
RITUAL of Russian Church, 184, 


ROJDESTVA, 181, 251. 

ROMAN Church and Orthodoxy, 86, 


ROMANOF, Anastasia. 49, 109. 
Dynasty, 109^; House, 108, 

228. See also ALEXIS, PETER, 

ROSTOPCHIN, Count, 287. 
" ROYAL DOORS," 180, 197. 
RUFFO, Marco, 131. 

RURIK, 5. 

RUSSIA Company, 271^ 

SACRISTY of the Patriarchs, 197. 

SAINTS, Russian, 184^: 


XRAM, etc. 
SAKKOS, 256. 
SCANDINAVIAN influence, 8. 
SCHLITTE, John, 64. 
SCHOOLS in Moscow, 123, 205, 210, 




SCOTS in Moscow, 275, 281. 

SCYTHIANS, 5, 294. 

SE.MIRADSKI'S Pictures, 7. 


SERGIUS, Saint, 175. 

SERVANTS' etiquette, 238. 

SHALKAN, 277. 

SHEIN, Captain, 105. 

SHOOISKI, family, 48, 81 ; Vasili, 

95jf'i Michael, 99. 
SHRINES, 256. 

The Proud, 22. 


SKOPIN, Shooiski, 99, 192. 
SKOPTSI, 203. 
SKUTAROV, Maluta, 56, 72. 
SLAVERY, 265. 
SLAVS, Early, 5. 
SNF.GUIREV, 151, 188. 
SOLARIUS, P. A., 151. 

SOLTIKOVS. Il8, 241. 

SOPHIA, Paleologus. 32, 128. 

Tsarevna, 145, 211^ 255. 

SORCERY in Moscow, 77, iz, 247. 
SPARROW Hills, i, 38, 42, 50, 251, 

SPASS NA BOKU, 15, 22, 26, 29, 124, 


SPASSKI VOROT, 24, 58, 151, 279. 
SRIETENKA (Meeting) ; street, 209. 

Monastyr, 208. 

" STANDARDS," Army, 140 ; church, 


STRELTSI, 152, 207,211-215. 
STRIECHNEV, family of, 120. 
STOVES, 95, 128, 230. 

SwEEDES, 113- 


SYMBOLS, 35, 36, 140; Cross, 182; 

George and Dragon, 36 ; Two 

Headed Eagle, 35. 

TAKING the Veil, 38, 266. 

TARTARS, allied with Muscovites, 
21 ; cause of the invasions, 16 ; 

defeats of, 23, 32, 35 ; insult, 
Ivan Vasili, 38 ; Ivan IV., 64 ; 
invasions, 9, 16, 25, 26, ^4, 38, 63, 

TAYLOR. John, 166, 280. 
'< TEA, 235, 305. 
TEREM, 41, 112, 117, 126; Life in, 

2 34- 
i THEODORE I., 80 ff. 

\ II., 123^. 

Godunov, 92 ffi 

Romanof, 123, 128. 

; St, 259. 

THRONES, State, 140 ; church, 189. 
i THRONGS, 181. 


TOKHTA, 19. 

TOKHTAMYSH, Khan, 25. 

TOMB of Eudpxia, Tsaritsa, 266. 

of Dmitri, 191. 

Ivan IV., 192. 

Simeon, 262. 

Sophia, Tsarevna, 266. 

TOMBS of boyards, 263 ; of Mat- 
vievs, 219 ; of Romanofs, 263 ; of 
Tsars, 191 ; of Tsaritsas, 238 ; of 
Varaegers, 191 

" TONGUES," 216. 

TORTURE, 150, 239 ; v. CRUELTIES. 

TOWER, see also BASHNIA. 

Alarm, 58. 

Chastok, 245. 

of Constantine, 150. 

Ivan Veliki, 88, 155. 

Kutaifa, 154. 

Philaret, 156. 

Sukharev, 208. 

Traitors', 150. 

Tsaritsa's, 150. 

Watch, 245. 
TRADERS, Muscovite, 237. 
" TRANQUIL " TSAR, 145. 
TREASURY, 139 ; and see ORUJENIA 


TREASURY, Churches, used as, 41 
TRIAL by Combat, 240. 
TRINITY CHURCH, 154, 294. 

31, 101. 

TROITSKI VOROT, 154, 291. 
TVER and Moscow, 18, 21, 57. 
" TWENTY NATIONS," Invasion of, 




UGLITCH, 21, 85, 97. 
UGOL, Krasnce, 132. 
URUSOV, Princess, 202. 
USBEK, Khan, 22. 

USPENSKI SOBOR, 22, 117, 130, 158, 



VAL, Krimski, 265. 




Vorot, 238. 

VASILI I., 26. 

VASILI II., 28, 31 



Ch. of, 47, 65, 67, 179. 

VASILI THE BLIND, 26; "the squint- 
eyed," 28. 

VASSIAN, Archbishop, 34, 52. 

VEHICLES, Primitive, 247. 



VESTMENTS, Sacerdotal, 198. 

VIEWS of Moscow, 251. 

VIRGIN of Jerusalem, 187. 

of Kazan, 205. 

of Pechersk, 165. 

of Smolensk, 141, 244. 

of Vladimir, 187^ 


VLADIMIR, the Great, 6, 139 ; the 
Brave, 28 ; Town of, 23. 


VLADISLAS, Tsar, 101. 

VOIEVODES, 35, 42, 63. 

VOROT, or Gate, 

Arbatski, 82. 

Borovitski, 41, 149, 291, 299. 

Florovski, 24, 151. 

Ilyinski, 39. 

Jerusalem, 151. 

Krasnoe, 219. 

Krutitski, 122, 142. 

Nikolski, 24, 153, 297. 

Prechistenski, 41, 149, 291. 

" Red." 219. 

VOROT Redeemer, 24, 58, 151. 

Spasski, 58, 151. 

Sukharev, 208. 

Tainitski, 150. 

Troitski, 154. 

Varvarka, 238. 

Vladimirski, 205, 207. 

Vosskresenski, 141. 








of Kitai-Gorod, 38, 238. 

of Kremlin, 23, 148. 

of Zemlianni-Gorod, 209. 

WATCH Towers, 245. 
WEAPONS, Muscovite, 139. 
WINTER in Moscow, 226. 
WIVES of Ivan IV., 77. 

of Peter I., 213, 216. 

WIZARDS, 77, 121. 

WOMEN in Mediaeval Moscow, 8, 
33, 48, 61, 62, 72, 81, 86, 118, 121, 
J 37i 2I 3> 2I 6) 23 1 ff> 269, 278. 

XENIA, Princess, 94. 
XRAM, 298, 299. 

YAUZA, 249. 
YERMAK, 63, 81. 
YURI Dmitrovich, 28. 
Dolgoruki, 28, 36. 

ZABIELIN'S private life of Tsars, 134. 
ZAPIEHA, 101. 
ZARIADI, 205. 
ZNAMIA, 243. 



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